ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat (DWDD) – The Philippine Army rendered the “Distinguished Ranger Award” to a retired Scout Ranger for his effort in enabling the surrender of 54 New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist in Senator Ninoy Aquino town in Sultan Kudarat.
Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander, 33rd Infantry “Makabayan”Battalion, conferred the award to Retired MSg Rodolfo Ecija Sr., 65, in conjunction with the 67th foundation anniversary of the First Scout Ranger Regiment.
The 33rd IB is based in President Quirino town and has operational jurisdiction over three towns in Sultan Kudarat and seven in Maguindanao. Upon assumption of command of 33IB by Col Cabunoc, he tapped Ecija to assist in the peace efforts and became “chief negotiator” for NPA rebels operating in the towns of Senator Ninoy Aquino, Esperanza, Lebak, Kalamansig, and Bagumbayan.in the region. Ecija, joined the elite Musang in 1975 and he was well-known for his negotiating skills.
According to Col Cabunoc, the 54 communist terrorist voluntarily surrendered between May 21 and November 2. Financial and livelihood assistance are now being prepared for the surrenderees in order to start having a normal life with their family and friends.
Cabunoc added that they owe a lot to Msg Ecija for the pursuit of peace in the regionan with such an achievement. 33IB/MCAG