NPA ‘bomb’ expert yield

A BOMB expert and another member of the New People’s Army surrendered to the 71st Infantry Battalion and 60th Infantry Battalion in Mawab, Compostela Valley and Asuncion, Davao del Norte on Sunday.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said the bomb expert, identified only as Jojo, a member of the Guerilla Front 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, surrendered to the 71st IB on Dec. 2.

Lamosao said Jojo was the vice commander of Milisyang Bayan Cluster Command (MBCC) sector Sapa in Masara Lines of Maco.

According to him, MBCC is a group tasked to conduct sniping, extortion, and ambushes using bombs.

“There will be no more talks between the government and the terrorists yet we are still open to those who intend to voluntarily submit themselves, cooperate, and return to the folds of the law,” Lt. Col. Esteveyn Ducusin, the commanding officer of 71st Infantry Battalion of 7th Infantry Division.

Ducusin already directed his troops to intensify the security measures and the military offensives against the NPA to maintain peace and order in Compostela Valley.

Meanwhile, another NPA member surrendered an M14 rifle and AK-47 rifle to the 60th Infantry Battalion.

2Lt. Amadeuz Vincent John Celestial, the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 60th IB, identified him only as alias Toni, 28, a resident of New Corella, Davao del Norte. Another former rebel who also surrendered to 60IB helped facilitate Toni’s surrender.

Toni said he has been with the armed group since 2006. He also said that during the ceasefire, he was deployed by the NPA in Cagayan Valley (Luzon) for three months.

Toni will be enrolled in the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP). He will also receive additional remuneration for the firearms that he endorsed.

Lt. Col. Emmanuel Canilla, commander of 60IB, said that while they will welcome any rebel who will surrender, it would be better if they could bring their firearms with them.

“If they leave with their firearms behind, that firearm may still be used by the other NPA criminals to terrorize our people and communities,” he said. “Plus, they get remuneration for every piece of it (firearm).”

Col. Erwin Bernard Neri, 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, expressed his optimism in the campaign to end the insurgency. “We are encouraging NPA members to return to the folds of the law, re-join mainstream society and support the people’s clamor for peace and an end to violence,” Neri said.

Recently, eighteen members of NPA terrorist surrendered to the soldiers of 3rd Infantry Battalion and 1001st Infantry Brigade. Based on the records of the 10th Infantry Division, there were already 228 NPA rebels who surrendered since January this year.

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