HEADQUARTERS, 1003rd Brigade, Sto Tomas, DDN - - A significant number of Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) and Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) members surrender Sunday, while an arms cache of war materiel is discovered Tuesday.
Since January this year, 14 CNTs surrendered to the three battalions of the 1003rd Brigade, while 62 UGMO members, all from the areas of Paquibato and Upper Calinan District, Davao City yielded to the Community Support Program (CSP) teams of 16IB currently deployed in the said areas.
One of the surrenderees also brought along to surrender to the troops a caliber .45 pistol, one caliber .38 revolver, a hand grenade and assorted ammunition.
Meanwhile, following interviews with the surrenderees, 16IB troops recovered the arms cache of the CNTs containing two shotguns, three .38 caliber revolvers, a caliber.22 revolver, three improvised explosive devises, an ICOM radio and assorted ammunition in Sitio Kabagtukan, Barangay Dominga, Calinan District.
Likewise, one of the UGMO members who surrendered from Brgy Dominga pointed last 24 February the location of a rifle grenade which was hidden on a farm lot in the said area which was blasted on-site immediately by the soldiers upon discovery.
Lt. Col Darren E. Comia, Commanding Officer of 16IB, 2ID, PA in his message, said "The firearms and explosives, having been recovered, is a big victory in the concerted effort of the government to keep people safe. Meanwhile, the significant number of UGMO members dismantled by the CSP Teams and the cooperation they have shown is a clear manifestation that the communities within the area of operation no longer supports the political, ideological and organizational, as well as the propaganda works of the CNTs. Sooner or later we will see the communities within the area of operation cleared of their influence”.
Col Ernesto Torres Jr, Commander of the 1003rd Brigade said “The increasing average of our operations hitting the CNTs, the revelations by people of their whereabouts and the increasing number of surrenderees we are having at the moment is an undeniable emanation that people are increasingly being cooperative with the soldiers.”
“Despite our aggressive conduct of combat operations, our arms are wide open to embrace them anytime they opt to return to the folds of the law. Everyone deserves to live a normal life with their friends and families”, he added, referring to the CNTs who are still clinging to the idea that has long been since discarded and forgotten even by its once, strongest proponents.
The former rebels are now being evaluated to avail of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP and of Davao City’s local peace initiatives where benefits such as jobs and housing can be availed. As for the UGMOs, they are now being re-oriented to become positive contributing members of their respective communities.
The Community Support Program (CSP) is a community and issue-oriented AFP operational concept employed in conflict-affected areas. It is a multi-stakeholder, community-based and people-oriented peace and development effort aimed to establish and develop disaster and conflict -resilient communities.