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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsUnmasking the Shadows: Exposing CTG's Covert High School Recruitment in Kalamansig

Unmasking the Shadows: Exposing CTG’s Covert High School Recruitment in Kalamansig

In a remote corner of the Philippines, nestled among the rugged mountains of Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat province, a sinister plot was unfurling. The 37th Infantry (Conqueror) Battalion, operating under its mother unit, the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division of the Philippine Army, unveiled a shocking truth that sent ripples through the community. The Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) had been covertly recruiting high school students, transforming innocent youths into instruments of violence.

Under the leadership of Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, the Commanding Officer of the 37IB disclosed the disturbing recruitment efforts of the CTG. It all started with a 16-year-old girl, known by the alias Lyn-Lyn, who was then a high school student in the area. She unwittingly fell victim to the sinister charms of Rowe Libot, also known as Wifi, who posed as a cultural dance instructor.

Sometime in March, Libot lured Lyn-Lyn into the mountains, promising cultural dance education. However, the truth was far more insidious. Once isolated, Lyn-Lyn was subjected to indoctrination and coercion, forcing her to join their ranks and to embrace violence as a means of rebellion against the government. Libot’s grip on her tightened, forbidding her from leaving their ranks.

As the months went by, Lyn-Lyn found herself entangled in the web of the CTG’s radical ideology. But a glimmer of hope shone through the darkness. In July of the current year, she and another young female recruit summoned their courage and surrendered to the troops of the 37IB. Their journey towards redemption was not without challenges. In a fierce clash on July 27, 2023, they fought against the very soldiers they were now seeking refuge with, resulting in injuries on the side of the CTG and the demise of Libot.

Lt. Col. Baldomar, working alongside the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), ensured that Lyn-Lyn received the necessary medical care and surgery to heal her wounds. As of August 14, 2023, she was in stable condition and on her path to recovery, ready to embrace a new life far from the grip of terrorism.

On the other hand, Rowe Libot, a former member of the CTG, surrendered to the 37IB in March 2022. Unfortunately, he fell back into the clutches of the CTG in March 2023. He was responsible for recruiting Lyn-Lyn and another minor named as alias Bella, both high school students at Kalamansig. Libot’s reign of terror culminated in his demise during an encounter with government forces on July 27, 2023.

Brigadier General Michael Santos, Commander of the 603rd Brigade, shed light on the ongoing struggle against the remnants of the CTG in the region. The Far South Mindanao Region had been on the brink of collapse, but the traces of their influence persisted. “These decisive military operations were launched to completely eradicate the remnants of the CTG in the mountains of Lebak, Kalamansig, Palimbang, and other areas under the 603rd Brigade’s jurisdiction”, said Brig. Gen. Santos.

Major General Alex S. Rillera, the Commander of the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division and Joint Task Force Central, is deeply concerned about the recruitment of communist terrorists among the youth. He states with emphasis, “Cease your propagation of false ideologies among our innocent civilians. Put an end to the destructive impact you are leaving on the younger generation, coercing and ensnaring them into your senseless cause. The time is ripe for transformation. Let us come together and foster harmonious coexistence.”

Maj. Gen. Rillera further emphasizes, “This tale of covert recruitment then redemption, and courage serves as a testament to the unwavering strength of the human spirit. It showcases the efforts of those who confront the manipulation of vulnerable young minds while highlighting the potential for those trapped in darkness to rediscover the path to enlightenment.” As he underlines the significance of unity of the community in its endeavor to recover and heal, he envisions the mountains of Kalamansig to witness a new chapter infused with hope and resilience.

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