A former New People’s Army rebel who recently surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion guided the troops to a communist terrorist arms cache in Barangay Pange, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte, on July 21, 2020.
The 53IB troops who were conducting a follow-up operation against the NPA discovered the said arms cache, a concealed location of buried high-power firearms including an M653 baby armalite, an M16 and an AK47 assault rifles buried at Sitio Sapa Bagol in Barangay Pange.
The follow-up operation was based on the information revealed by a former member of NPA’s Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU), Western Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB Commanding Officer said the success of this follow-up operation is proof that the integrity of the NPA armed group is disgruntled at its core.
“If it’s not the community, it’s the former rebels who disclose the locations of their firearms. This is proof that the former rebels are tired of NPA atrocities and they also want this insurgency to end,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.
During the Provincial Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee meeting, on the same day, 22 former NPA rebels in Zamboanga Del Norte received PhP20,000.00 financial assistance each.
102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Leonel Nicolas, urged the remaining communist NPA terrorists to abandon the armed struggle.
“Many among your ranks are already seeing the light after being imprisoned in the dark for many years of deception and lies by the communist terrorist groups,” Col. Nicolas said.
“Lay down your arms and allow us to help you so you could return to your families,” Col. Nicolas said.
1st Infantry Tabak Division Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio commended the 53IB troops for this accomplishment.
“Our troops on the ground have been continuously delivering significant accomplishments in degrading the armed capability of the communist terrorist groups in our area of responsibility through series of encounters or by facilitating the surrender of former armed rebels,” Maj. Gen. Ponio said.
Lt. Col. Herrera said the former rebel who revealed the arms cache is now being processed for enrollment to E-CLIP, which includes the firearm remuneration.