By Ado Q. Paglinawan
Two communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) were killed in another successful operation initiated by government troops in the boundaries of Barangay Patag and Cawayan, Irosin, Sorsogon last September 2.
Following the encounter, two others surrendered to the troops, including the leader of Platoon 1, Larangan 2 of Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC), while six M16 rifles, three anti-personnel mines and personal belongings were seized.
Earlier, another member of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) was killed in an armed clash that broke out last August 28 in the hinterlands of Barangay San Vicente Norte, Iriga City, Camarines Sur.
Both firefights followed the leads given by local citizens as to the whereabout of the insurgents.
In addition, a major rebel training camp was seized in Masbate disrupting their planned atrocities against civilians in the island province. The CTG’s hideout which houses 23 huts, a training site, and bomb-making area was overran by government troops due to the continuous information the authorities are receiving from the locals, landing a solid blow on the already collapsing communist insurgency in the island province.
Furthermore, just this year, a total of 15 CTG members were killed in the successful engagements initiated by joint task force consisting of Army and Police elements against the terrorist group.
In the Sorsogon encounter , joint elements of 22nd Infantry Battalion, 903rd Infantry Brigade, Irosin Municipal Police Station, 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company (2PMFC), PIU, Sorsogon Police Provincial Office (SPPO), and R2, PRO5 were conducting an operation in response to a report about the presence of CNTs in the area when they encountered at least 40 armed communist insurgents.
Col. Aldwine Almase, brigade commander of 903rd Infantry (Patriot) Brigade, said that the massive and continuing gains of government forces reflect the crumbling leadership of the CTGs.
“Ang pagsuko ng isa sa mga batikang lider ng grupong nakasagupa ng ating mga tropa ay patunay na napipilitan na lang makipaglaban ang teroristang grupong ito pero ayaw na rin nilang masayang ang kanilang buhay sa walang saysay na pakikipaglaban.
“Ito rin ay isa ring patotoo na tinatanggap natin ang kanilang pagbabalik-loob kahit pa nga sa gitna ng sagupaan ang kanilang pagsuko,” Col. Almase added.
Lt. Col. Nelson Mico, battalion commander of 22IB, attributed the accomplishment not just to the extensive operations of the security forces to hunt down the remaining CTG in Sorsogon, but especially to the cooperation of the local populace.
PBGen Jonnel Estomo, regional director of Police Regional Office-5 (PRO-5) underscored that with the effective synergy of efforts of JTF Bicolandia and the PRO5 PNP, the CTG can no longer hide and evade the government forces even in the mountains.
“Katuwang na natin ang mga mamamayan sa paghahanap sa kanila kaya wala na silang pagtataguan pa. Mas mabuting magbalik-loob na lang sila at mamuhay ng payapa sa piling ng kanilang pamilya,” PBGen. Estomo said.
Furthermore, MGen Henry Robinson Jr PA. commander of the joint task force, commended the persistence of the troops and for staying committed to the government’s all-out war against the CTG.
Robinson added, “Despite our series of successful operations, we are not letting our guard down. We will scour every hill and mountain of Bicol to find these terrorists and bring them down to justice.
“Pero nanatiling bukas ang pintuan ng pamahalaan sa sinumang susukogaya ng napakaraming ng iba na nauna nang nagbalik-loob sa lipunan at makapagbagong buhay.”