CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, ISABELA: Local supporters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) have turned over their firearms following the surrender of two high ranking NPA rebels to the Army’s Fifth Infantry Division (5th ID), according to Maj. Jekyll Julian Dulawan, 5th ID public affairs officer.
In a report released on Tuesday, Dulawan said Alias Rence and Alias Maki, both members of the Militia ng Bayan, handed over an M16 rifle and an M16A rifle to the 5th ID’s 98 Infantry Battalion (IB) in Sitio Nursery, Barangay Disulap in San Mariano town.
Also in Barangay Ditarum in Divilacan town, residents turned over two M16 rifles and two bandoliers owned by the NPA rebels.
Meanwhile, Dulawan said two high-ranking personalities of Komiteng Larangang Guerilla-Baggas, Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee have surrendered to the 50th IB in Tabuk City, Kalinga province.
Alias Brix and Alias Maxine said they decided to return to the folds of the law since the group has been demoralized after successive losses and debacles of the rebel movement, according to Dulawan.
Maj. Gen. Laurence Mina, 5th ID commander, lauded the troops in the aggressive conduct of focused military operations to end the local communist armed conflict both in Cagayan Valley and in Cordillera.
Mina lauded the local residents for their support and cooperation in the campaign against insurgency saying the support and cooperation of the people are the vital factors that will put an end to the insurgency.
“The different government agencies exert efforts to bring the services and projects to the people, especially those who were previously influenced by the CNTs (communist NPA terrorists). We are certainly closer to our goal of having an insurgency-free country,” he said.