A high-ranking official of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) was captured in a joint operation of the Army and PNP in Placer, Masbate last Sunday, September 26.
Hiding behind the aliases of Ogos, Agos, August, Leo, Miguel, Mario, and Zardo of National Operations Command (NOC) of the CPP-NPA-NDF, Chito Huligañga was captured after the elements of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB), 903rd Infantry Brigade (903Bde), 91st and 21st Division Reconnaisance Companies (DRC), 96 MICO, PNP and other intelligence units conducted a joint operation in response to the report of the residents of Barangay Nainday about the presence of suspicious individuals in their area.
Huliganga is considered as high-value target who has three standing warrants of arrest for double murder with frustrated homicide, violation of Sec 1, para 2 of RA 8294 and violation of Sec 1 of RA 9516.
Seized from his possession were caliber .45 pistol, hand grenade, tablet, two cellphones, two flashdrives, wifi adapter and terroristic propaganda materials.
Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB, said that as the N1 of NOC, Huliganga is in-charge of overseeing CTG’s trainings and overall implementation of the terrorist group’s tactical operations.
He added that the capture of a member of the Central Commitee is the result of relentless focused military operations in Masbate and the support gained by the security forces from various stakeholders.
For Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, said Huligañga’s presence in Masbate shows that the CTGs wish to regain their power in Masbate but the Bicol Army busted whatever plan they have in mind to counter our relentless and extensive operations against them.
“Napakalaking dagok nito sa kanilang grupo lalo na ngayon na patuloy ang kanilang paghina dahil nauubos na kanilang mga hanay dahil sa sunod-sunod na mass surrenders at wala na rin silang nalilinlang na mga bagong miyembro dahil ayaw na ng mga Masbateño sa karahasan, pandarambong, at kasinungalingan ng komunistang grupo,” Almase added.
Before Huligañga, five CTG personalities were also nabbed while taking shelter in a house in San Jacinto last September 25.
Balik-Loob goes feverish
Meanwhile, the exodus of insurgents giving up their arms and supporting the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program continue in droves with 246 of their members and supporters took part in the burning of the replica of CTG’s flag and the effigy of Jose Maria Sison, in different parts of the island province as initiated by the Barangay officials headed by Barangay Chairman Alfonso Arellano, tanods and the residents of Mapuyo.
- In Dimasalang, On September 18, Dimasalang, 13 Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) members and nine supporters surrendered on September 18. The next day another 42 SPL members, six Militiang Bayan (MB) members and 12 supporters yielded.
- In Uson, 13 SPL members and 11 supporters surrendered on September 20, one regular NPA member, seven SPL members and 12 supporters followed on September 21.
- In Barangay Mapuyo, Mobo a whopping 120 surrenderers composed of five regular NPA members, 13 Militiang Bayan (MB) members, 90 Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad members and 12 supporters withdrew their membership and support from the CPP-NPA-NDF on September 24.
Police Regional Office-5 (PRO-5) PBGen Jonnel Estomo thanked the surrenderers for abandoning the useless cause saying “Itong panibagong grupo ng mga CTG members at supporters na nagbalik-loob sa pamahalaan ay magiging mga buhay na patunay na ang pagbabago ay nakasalalay sa pagkakaisa at hindi sa paghahasik ng karahasan at terorismo.”
Furthermore, MajGen Henry Robinson, Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia commander said, “Ang mga sumbong na ipinararating ninyo sa amin ay napakalaking tulong upang mahuli hindi lamang ang mga miyembro kundi ang mismong mga lider ng teroristang grupong ito gaya ni Huligañga.
“Nagpapasalamat tayong muli sa mga Masbateño sapagkat kung wala ang kanilang buong suporta sa ating mithiing tapusin ang communist insurgency, hindi magbubunga ang ating mga pagsisikap. Lahat ng ating mga nakakamit na tagumpay ay nagsisilbing inspirasyon upang lalo pa nating pag-ibayuhin ang ating kampanya laban sa terorismo at insurhensya,” MGen. Robinson said.
In sum, 1,065 CTG members and supporters returned to the folds of the law for this year alone in the entire Bicol region, including these series of mass surrenders and the 113 surrenderers last September 14-17 in Dimasalang. (SPH/Ado Paglinawan)