WITH the relentless counter-insurgency effort of the security forces, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) has tallied down a total of 9,148 New People’s Army (NPA) members and supporters who surrendered to the government since January this year.
Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey, Eastmincom spokesperson, said that more rebels in their area of responsibility have decided to come down and sought for a reformed life.
Based on their data, since January 1, there were a total 659 NPA regulars who have returned to the folds of the law; 910 members of the Milisyang Bayan and 285 members of the Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad.
There were also a total of 7,294 members of the Underground Mass Organizations (Ugmpo) who withdrew their support from the NPA.
From January to Sept 23, 2018, 256 NPAs who are Indigenous Peoples surrendered and are now being processed to be enrolled in the Enhance Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (E-CLIP) designed for those formers rebels who surrendered to the government.
“Several leaders of former CPP/NPA influenced tribal communities like that of Datu Gibang Apoga who have gone back to the folds of the law and are now being welcomed by the government through the same program,” Balagtey said.
In fact, in September, three high-ranking NPAs were neutralized in Eastern Mindanao. The commander of the Pulang Bagani Command 3 identified as alias Ivy was killed in an encounter at Cabarisan, Sibulan, Toril, Davao City on September 16.
In a separate combat operation, the secretary of Guerilla Front 51 identified as Jecko was also killed in an encounter with the government troops at Flortam, Batasan, Makilala, North Cotabato on September 17 and on September 24, the secretary of Guerilla Front 73 was arrested in a Law Enforcement Operations in Surallah, South Cotabato.
“Relative to martial law in Mindanao, the rights base implementation in Mindanao have the support of Mindanawons as it contributed to the situation for the better and prevented the spillover of terrorism and led to the arrest of different terrorists and their leaders,” he added.
Meanwhile, the army is calling on the cooperation of the public to ensure the peace and order in the city against the lawless elements.
“The people of Eastern Mindanao deserve to have a peaceful regional environment conducive for development. The continuous armed struggle will only bring death, misery, hate, anger, and poverty. Let us all join hands and harmonize all our efforts to solve lingering issues and improve the living conditions of the people through the framework of good governance, inclusive growth, and development and enhanced human security,” Balagtey cited.