AFP,PNP ops lead to neutralization of NPA leaders

A series of Law Enforcement Support Operations conducted by the combined military and police forces have led to multiple neutralization of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) leaders and members on February 17-18, 2022, leaving the CTG with dwindling manpower.

A top communist terrorist leader identified as Dr. Maria Natividad Marian Castro alias Dok Nati, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Central Committee member and head of its National Health Bureau was arrested by combined forces of the 4th Infantry Division’s 401st Brigade, intel units, Joint Task Force (JTF) NCR, Police Regional Office 13 (PRO-13), and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) on February 18 at her residence at San Juan City, Metro Manila.

The said personality is wanted for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention issued at RTC Branch 7, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur on January 30, 2020.

LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), lauded the combined efforts of the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for the successful arrest of Castro.

“This is an ultimate example of the strong synergy among our security forces. Castro must face the charges filed against her before the court to give justice to the victims of her atrocities,” the EastMinCom Commander said.

On the other hand, combined troops of the 402nd Infantry Brigade’s (Bde) intel units and Provincial Intel Unit of Misamis Oriental Provincial Police Office figured in an armed encounter with the Communist Terrorist Group on February 18, which resulted in the death of a CTG leader and his wife, and the recovery of a Caliber .45 pistol with ammunitions, a hand grenade and personal belongings.

The 5-minute skirmish came after the troops acted upon a report of the concern citizens on the presence of armed individuals in Brgy. Odiongan, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, which prompted them to conduct intelligence operations.

The two neutralized individuals were identified as Jelan Pinakilid alias Baking/Matrix, and Darling Pinakilid alias Yandy/Ate.

Prior to this, a CTG leader identified as Renerio Dablo alias Edoy was also killed by the troops of 402nd Bde’s 58th Infantry Battalion (IB) while two high-powered firearms were seized following a clash at the hinterlands of Sitio Minlanag, Brgy Lawaan, Gingoog City on February 17.

The recovered firearms were composed of two M16 rifles with magazines and ammunitions, subversive documents and personal belongings.

On the same day, the successful focus military operations launched by the troops of the 1001Bde’s 60IB and intel units also led to the surrender of two CTG members.

They were identified as alias Randy and alias Arman, who brought along their high-powered firearms composed of an M16A1 rifle and a Bushmaster M16 rifle.

The surrenderees divulged that they decided to return to the folds of the law due to hunger, fear, and stress caused by the series of encounter in their area. They also said that they were convinced to surrender due to reports of their former mass supporters on the military’s developmental efforts in their community and their good treatment with other former rebels.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol cited that the continued decrease in manpower, firearms, supplies, and support from their former mass bases weakened the CTG’s capability to fight, which led to successive armed encounters with government troops.

He also welcomed the latest neutralization and capitulation of the CTG members and has called upon their remaining comrades to surrender as their organization is already crumbling from top to bottom.

“The neutralization of the CTG’s leadership from top to bottom will continue as we are decisive to dismantle their group this year. To the remaining CTG leaders and members, stop fighting the government and instead choose the path of peace by laying down your arms and embrace the government’s offer through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” he said.

The EastMinCom Commander also said that his troops will be relentless in pursuing the remaining CTG until the terror they bring in the peace-loving communities in Eastern Mindanao is fully extinguished.