CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao del Norte – In a significant development, the Commanding Officer of the Gilbeys Platoon under the Regional Operations Command of the Far South Mindanao Region was neutralized in a heightened military operation against the weakening members of the Far South Mindanao Region.
Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, Commanding Officer of the 37th Infantry (Conqueror) Battalion, identified the killed communist terrorist group as Rey Masot Zambrano, also known by the aliases Dodong and Tres, who held the position of Commanding Officer within the ROC/RSDG, FSMR.
“The encounter between our troops and Zambrano’s group occurred in Barangay Obial, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat, on October 10, 2023, resulting in Zambrano’s demise, while another individual, identified as Jonas Cabantug, was apprehended near the encounter site,” stated Lt. Col. Baldomar.
Lt. Col. Baldomar further revealed that Zambrano was a government target and held a prominent position within the Communist Terrorist Group operating in the Lebak and Kalamansig areas of Sultan Kudarat. “He had outstanding warrants of arrest for robbery (Criminal Case No. 2546), attempted murder (Criminal Case No. 2794), murder, and attempted murder (Criminal Case Nos. 2518 and 2519),” added Lt. Col. Baldomar.
The successful neutralization of Zambrano was accompanied by the recovery of a substantial cache of weapons and equipment, including an AK47 rifle, a.45 caliber pistol, ammunition, magazines, backpacks, cellular phones, and rain boots.
Brigadier General Michael A. Santos, Commander of the 603rd Infantry (Persuader) Brigade, said that removing high-ranking FSMR members has severely damaged their leadership, causing significant disruptions to their activities and reducing their ability to pose a threat to Sultan Kudarat province and its residents. This success is the second major achievement this semester. In a notable operation on August 13, 2023, the unit also eliminated Joseph Longan, known as alias Michael, who led the Beijing Platoon, SRC Daguma, FSMR. This highlights the effectiveness and competence of the Brigade and its operational control battalion.
Brig. Gen. Santos further emphasized the commitment of the Persuader Brigade to safety and security in the area of operations. “Our highly-trained and dedicated personnel will stop at nothing to ensure the well-being and prosperity of our nation and its people.”
Major General Alex S. Rillera, Commander of the 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central, commended the 37IB and the operating units for the successful military operation. He also called upon members of the Communist Terrorist Group to return to the government. “We offer you the opportunity to start anew with your beloved families. Your government is here to help you, as there are no winners in the use of violence. We understand that you may have fallen victim to deceitful higher-ranking members of the terrorist group who led your comrades to a tragic fate. We are willing to listen to your grievances,” stated Maj. Gen. Rillera.
As a result, 56 communist groups have now disbanded, with 11 individuals arrested, 13 eliminated in various operations by different units under the JTF Central, and 32 returning to the folds of the law.