MANILA – Focused combat operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has resulted in the surrender of 19 communist terrorists and killing of 17 others from May 4 to 11.
“The series of focused military operations also resulted (in) the seizure of 37 high-powered firearms, 10 improvised explosive devices, and 1,262 rounds of assorted ammunition from CTG (Communist Terrorist Groups) members,” said AFP public affairs office chief, Navy Captain Jonathan Zata, in a statement Wednesday.
In the same period, military troops recovered four M-16A1 rifles, four M-16 rifles, three M-1 carbines, four AK-47 rifles, one M-653 rifle, two M-14 rifles, an improvised M-14 rifle, two M-79 grenade launchers, two machineguns, four grenades, five .45-caliber pistols, three air guns, a shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver.
“Aside from armaments, medical supplies, bandoliers, and subversive documents were also seized from the CTGs,” Zata said.
One of the recent surrenderers was a female mass organizer who gave herself up to joint elements of the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police in Pandi, Bulacan last May 10, he added.
Another three NPA rebels surrendered and brought their firearms in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte on May 7.
This was facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 5th Mechanized Battalion, 2nd Mechanized Brigade, and the Kapatagan municipal government, Zata said. On May 4, eight members of the CTG’s underground mass organization surrendered to the 71st Infantry Battalion in Mawab, Davao De Oro.
Other surrenders include one in Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay; two in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro; one in Bansud, Oriental Mindoro; one in Midsalip, Zamboanga Del Sur; and two in Malapatan, Sarangani Province.
Meanwhile, troopers from the 53rd Infantry Battalion killed two communist rebels during an encounter in Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur on May 11.
On May 10, troopers from the 23rd Infantry Battalion, which is under the 402nd Infantry Brigade, engaged 80 CTGs in a running gunbattle in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental which resulted in the death of 10 communist terrorists.
Meanwhile, a clash between an undetermined number of communist rebels and military and police units in Bulan, Sorsogon last May 8 resulted in the death of another five CTGs as evidenced by the recovered bodies.
Zata added that a wounded NPA member was captured following a combat operation in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte on May 6.
On the same day, police and military troops apprehended another rebel in Dinagat, Agusan del Norte.
“The AFP leadership lauds the dedication of our troops for continuing the momentum to destroy the capabilities of the communist terrorist groups. Their dwindling numbers mark their more than 50 years of failed revolution as they continue to lose their mass base support,” said AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr.
He added the increase in surrenders and firearms gained from communist terrorist groups indicate the terror group’s dwindling strength.
“With the support from the NTF ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) and local governments, it is now more than ever that the synergy of every agency and partner stakeholder is needed to sustain our momentum in solving the decades-old problem of insurgency, even at the face a global pandemic,” Santos said. (ia/PNA)