Through the relentless efforts of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) under the leadership of LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, the troops of the 4th Infantry ‘Diamond’ Division (4ID) neutralized one member of the New People’s Army (NPA) and recovered five high-powered firearms at Brgy. Ranao Ibaning, Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur on Saturday (January 8).
In response to the information from civilian residents in the said area, the 4ID’s 1st Special Forces Battalion under the operational control of the 403rd Infantry Brigade conducted a focused military operation, thereby encountering more or less 50 fully armed CNTs operating in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur provinces.
The said troops figured in a three-hour firefight which resulted in the death of the still-unidentified NPA member and the recovery of M60 General Purpose Machine Gun, an M4 Rifle, M16 Rifle, M14 Rifle, an M1 Garand Rifle and other war materiel. Troops are conducting pursuit operations to track down other fleeing NPA members.
Almerol said that the successful neutralization and recovery of firearms is a strong indicator that the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) is losing big in terms of manpower and weaponry.
“This is just one of the signs which shows that the CTG is already scarce of manpower as more and more of their weapons lay unattended. This is important to note because the foundation of their operations heavily depends on manpower,” LtGen. Almerol assessed.
He added that the communist NPA in Bukidnon have suffered a devastating loss following the intensified combat operations done by EastMinCom last year that led to the neutralization of various CTG leaders and members, especially Ka Oris, the Spokesperson of CTG’s National Operations Command in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
LtGen. Almerol vowed to dismantle the remaining CTG Guerrilla Fronts and a Regional Committee in EastMinCom’s area with no letup on intensified operations before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte steps down this year.
The EastMinCom Commander also expressed optimism that he will be able to achieve the goal as the CTG had already suffered major blows in the recent focused military operations launched by the Command’s Joint Task Forces.
Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol commended the troops of 4ID for its latest accomplishment saying that it is crucial to the attainment of EastMinCom’s campaign for peace and development, not only in Eastern Mindanao but the whole country as well.
He also reiterated his call on the remaining CTG members and leaders to embrace a peaceful resolution of the armed conflict by accepting the government’s offer through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“Most of your high-ranking leaders are already neutralized and your formerly influenced communities have already pledged allegiance with the government. Your only option now is to peacefully surrender or join your former comrades who have faced a miserable death. We will never stop running after you as we are determined more than ever in ending your more than five decades of atrocities. That is why I urge you to surrender peacefully instead of continuing to evade our forces,” LtGen. Almerol emphasized.