NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under the leadership of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol has uncovered the largest arms caches in Caraga Region following the mass surrender of the members of a Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG) to the troops of 901st Brigade’s 30th Infantry Battalion (IB) in August.
LtGen. Almerol bared that four arms caches, hiding 31 high-powered firearms and other war materiel, were revealed by the members of Guerilla Front 16, Sub-Regional Committee Northland, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (GF16, SRC Northland, NEMRC).
It can be recalled that nine members of the Sentro Degrabidad (SDG) and Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16B (SYP16B), GF16, NEMRC yielded to the troops of 30IB at Brgy. Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte on August 12, which led to the recovery of 16 high-powered firearms.
They were identified as Edelberto D. Maisog alias Marmar, Grace J. Bacalan alias Nizel, Jessie S. Roxas alias Jemrex, Alfredo A. Balocloc Jr alias Degard, Lynde T. Bacalan alias Diane, Christopher G. Libres alias Joreden, Nikki B. Pinao alias Cyrel, Alvin Palen alias Barry, and Janiza Galupo alias Fox.
Their four other comrades identified as Panie H. Jubasan alias Alvin, Junas L. Morata alias Bong, Merimi C. Manego alias Odette, and Lenie B. Mantawiran alias Glay-Glay who respectively surrendered on August 22 and 25, also revealed two arms caches with 15 high-powered firearms.
The 31 retrieved high-powered firearms were composed of nine M4 Rifles, eight M16 Rifles, six AK47 Rifles, three M203 Grenade Launchers, an M14 Rifle, a Galil Rifle, a Caliber .22 Carbine, an R4 Rifle, a Pistol Grand Master, an Improvised Explosive Device, several assorted magazines, 2,010 rounds of various ammunition, four Bandoliers, and other war materiel.
In another incident, troops of the 1001st and 701st Brigades under the 10th Infantry Division (ID) uncovered separately two arms caches within Davao Region on August 25 and 26 after the revelation of two CTG personalities. Alias Delmar, former Chief Ordnance of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) and alias Bukawe, Team Leader Abe of the Weakened GF18, aided the troops in recovering five M16A1 Rifles, an M60 Machine Gun, an M16 Rifle, and an AK47 Rifle.
A former Militia ng Bayan (MB) member, identified as alias Labay, who surrendered to the troops of 402nd Brigade’s 16IB, also revealed the location of an arms cache at Sitio Mintapod, Brgy. Hagpa, Impasugong, Bukidnon on August 27. It contained a Caliber .30 M1 Springfield Rifle, 10 hand grenades, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), and ammunitions.
Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol lauded the troops of the 4ID and 10ID for their relentless efforts that further weakened the capability of the CTG in Eastern Mindanao. He is also optimistic that with the series of surrenders, Caraga Region will be declared “Insurgency-free” before 2022 ends.
“We are optimistic that GF16 is at the brink of collapse with the gradual surrender of their leadership. With our intensified military operations and aid from former rebels, it is only a matter of time before we declare them dismantled and the rest of Caraga Region free from insurgency this year,” he assured.
The EastMinCom Commander likewise encouraged the remaining CTG members to “surrender and avail government programs through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to start a new life with your families.”