By Ado Paglinawan/SPH/AQF
Persistent security operations of the Army in Bicol continue to deal a big blow in the now-waning fire and manpower of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG).
At around 10 o’clock last May 26, another communist terrorist member of the New People’s Army died and was left behind by his comrades after an armed skirmish between the CTG and government troops transpired in Sitio Castilla, Barangay Napolidan, Lupi, Camarines Sur.
According to the report, the 9th Infantry Battalion (9IB) received an information from the residents about the presence of CTG members in the area to which the troops immediately verified.
A fierce encounter with government troops sent about 15 terrorists scurrying towards different directions, and leaving an M-16 rifle and four anti-personnel mines.
Lt. Col. Emerson Sumilang, Battalion Commander of 9IB said that the explosives captured from the CTG only validate the terrorist group’s heinous crimes and methods of terrorizing peaceful communities.
Thus, he already directed his troops to continue scouring the area to thwart any other terrorist acts the CTG is planning to carry out.
Meanwhile, Col. Jaime Abawag Jr., Brigade Commander of 902nd Infantry Brigade, called on the CTG members to consider their families and return to the folds of the law right now.
“Alam naming natatakot din kayong mamatay. There is a way for you to live a longer life and that is to go back to your families. We are here; we will assist you. ‘Wag n’yo nang sayangin ang buhay n’yo sa kabundukan,” Col. Abawag said.
Major General Henry Robinson, Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) commander, stressed that communist insurgency has long been a cause not just of terrorism but of the loss of precious lives.
“Ang mga sundalo at pulis ang tinatawag ninyong kaaway? Sana sa pagkamatay ng isa na naman ninyong kasamahan ay mapukaw na ang inyong mga isip at piliin ninyong abandonahin na ang kilusan. The government is here to help you start anew,” MGen. Robinson said.
It can be recalled that this year, CTG’s useless cause claimed several lives including the four communist terrorists who were killed in an armed encounter in Garchitorena last February 1 as well as the casualty in Lagonoy last April 9 who was handed over by the Army to the LGU for a decent burial after his comrades abandoned him.
JTF Bicolandia considers these scores as proofs not just of the lives wasted because of communist insurgency but of the CTG’s losing fight, especially now that the Bicolanos are publicly denouncing the terrorist group’s violence and illegal acts.
Remarkably, even before the first half of 2021 ends, a whopping 111 CTG members and supporters from different provinces of Bicol already surrendered to the government along with various firearms. Of the number, 36 yielded to the 902nd Infantry Brigade who were recently presented to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee and the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) last May 15.
The Army and police also conducted series of successful operations which include the seizure of 53 huge anti-personnel mines in Lagonoy last April preempting CTG’s plan to hurl terroristic attacks against the government troops and innocent civilians. SOVEREIGNPH.