Nineteen members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered bringing with them high-powered firearms in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) said Tuesday.
In a statement, the Eastmincom said the peaceful surrender that took place Monday in Sitio Pongpong, Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod was due to the effort of the 10th Infantry Division’s (10ID) 1003rd Infantry Brigade, the 56th Infantry Battalion (IB), 89IB, 27IB, 3IB, and intelligence units.
The surrenderers, all under the NPA Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit (SRGU), Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), were Eloy Bontolan alias Eloy, vice-political officer; Lita Ehem alias Maya, secretariat for medical concerns; Emil Bontolan alias Admiral; Merlyn Bontolan alias Aya; Angeline Balite alias Angeline; Anggil Banlas alias Dante; Jeysin Tibalao alias JM; Manuel Mantikinon alias Kardo; Piyot Ehem alias Piyot; Diboy Mantoaw alias Talolong; Aiza Bontolan alias Sky; Dante Tumagsa alias Dante; and Raya Tumagsa.
Also included in the list of surrenderers were six Milisyang Bayan members: Boni Bontolan alias Boni, Gambil Bontolan alias Gambil, Ambog Landahay alias Ambog, Jimmy Mantikinon alias Jemmy, Boboy Anlagpang alias Boboy, and Gibang Gamot alias Gibang.
The surrenderers also gave up seven high-powered firearms to the troops comprising six M16 rifles, and an M14 rifle.
The surrenderers admitted that losing their leaders compounded by hunger and fatigue, prompted their surrender.
Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, the Eastmincom commander, has lauded the troops for their huge accomplishments.
“These non-stop accomplishments speak volumes of your relentless efforts to subdue the communist rebels. I am optimistic that we are communicating to the masses that indeed we are doing our excellent job in protecting the people from all forms of threats,” he said.
He pointed out that the series of surrenders showed the growing distrust of the NPAs on their organization and remaining leaders.
He also urged the remaining NPA members and leaders in Eastern Mindanao to surrender and avail of the assistance being offered by the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to help them build a new and normal life with their loved ones, especially that Christmas is nearing.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., the 10ID commander, has assured the surrenderers of their protection.
“We are here for your safety, your military will work with you to the best of our abilities. Also, other agencies of the government are here with us to continuously deliver the services that you need, to attain progress and so that no one will suffer,” he said.