CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – The government is foreseeing continuous breakthrough in its campaign against insurgency as it welcomed back two surrenderees from the Communist Terrorist Group in Masbate right at the start of the year 2021, after two CTG amazons were arrested in possession of firearm, explosives and terroristic propaganda materials in Sorsogon.
While conducting combat operation along Barangay Lalud, Bulusan town in Sorsogon province on Chritmas Day, December 25, at around 5:30 in the morning, joint elements of 31st Infantry Battalion (31IB) and PNP Sorsogon, spotted Winefredo Guyala Griego AKA Adax/Lolo, second in rank of Platoon 2, Larangan 2 (L2), Komiteng Probinsya 3 (KP3) of Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC).
Griego was able to flee together with two communist NPA terrorists, but two suspicious-looking women were located within the proximity prompting the troops to make a brief questioning.
As an improvised shotgun was found inside the house where the two were allegedly residing, the troops decided to do further clearing that resulted in the seizure of anti-personnel mines, one improvised shotgun, blasting cap, detonator, at least 100-meter wire, hand grenade, two improvised hand grenade, three backpacks with personal belongings, medical equipment and several terrorists’ propaganda materials.
Arrests were made after investigation revealed that one of the women is Griego’s party wife, Enriquita Guelas AKA Cora/Corazon Escandor who is at the same time the L2, KP3’s Secretary while the other one is Elizabeth Estilon AKA Lanie, their medical staff.
Former rebels on the other hand, confirmed the identification of the two and their involvement in the CTG organization.
It was also learned that Griego, Guelas, Estilon and other members of L2, KP3 went into hiding after the armed encounter against the 22nd Infantry Battalion (22IB) last November 23 in Irosin town where one of their comrades was killed and one (1) M16 rifle was captured.
Since Griego is still on the run, Lt. Col. Eric Culvera, Battalion Commander of 31IB directed his troops to remain in close coordination with the PNP for his immediate arrest.
Meanwhile in Barangay Lanang, Aroroy town in Masbate province, alias Edwin, 30 and alias Mark, 33, both regular CTG members voluntarily surrendered to the elements of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) last Saturday, January 2.
The two also turned in Caliber .30 Carbine rifle, Caliber .45, magazines and ammunitions.
Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB attributed the said development to the collaborative efforts of the security sector, the government and the public’s commitment to wipe out communist terrorism in the province.
Maj Gen Henry Robinson Jr PA, commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia congratulated the surrenderees for starting the year right by abandoning the useless cause of the CTG.
“Masbate has been a stronghold of the communist terrorists for so long a time, but since the implementation of the Whole-of-Nation Approach, the number of CTG members and supporters returning to the folds of the law from this province skyrocketed and it continues to snowball.
“It only means that all our efforts towards sustainable peace and development are already bearing fruits as we thanked these two surrenderees for setting a good example to the remaining communist terrorists who, in the coming days and months, will also follow their footsteps.
“Bagong taon, bagong buhay. Ito ang naghihintay sa kanilang dalawa at sa mga benipisyong nakatakda nilang matanggap mula sa gobyerno, wala silang pagsisisihan sa kanilang desisyon,” Robinson said.
Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) stressed that with the absence of Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) this holiday season, the military has strengthened the security measures being laid down in the region to stop the CTG from hurling any treacherous and terroristic acts.
Maj. Gen. Robinson said “The arrest of the two amazons will cripple the CTG even more knowing how significant their roles are in the movement.
“Nahadlangan din natin ang posibleng atrocities na pwede nilang gawin sa pamamagitan ng anti-personnel mines na nakuha sa kanila.
“Ito na ang sinasabi natin sa mga natitirang teroristang sa grupong ito, mas mainam kung kayo ay susuko na lamang at tapusin ang armadong tunggalian dahil matutulungan pa namin kayong makapagbagong-buhay.
“Kung sumuko na sila Guelas at Estilon noon pa, hindi sana sila nagpaskong nakaposas.”