STA CRUZ, Davao del Sur (DWDD) – The 73rd Infantry “Neutralizer” Battalion gains another achievement this early stage of 2018 as it welcomes the year with the surrender of two (2) NPA leaders from Guerilla Front 51, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) earlier this morning resulting from the unit’s intensified focused military operations against the NPA terrorist group.
The two NPA leaders were identified as Randy N Atong @ANDIKON, Finance and Logistics Officer of Andoy and Basil Platoons of GF51, SMRC and Renie C Atenza @RYAN, Team Leader of First Squad, Basil Platoon, GF51, SMRC.
The former terrorists said that they were already tired of fighting against the government forces coupled with the experience of starvation caused by the dwindling support from their masses hence they decided to return to the folds of the law.
The two surrendered unarmed but during the course of initial debriefing, they revealed that they hid three high powered firearms composed of one M14 Rifle and one M16 Rifle attached with M203 Grenade Launcher somewhere in Brgy Sibulan, Toril District, Davao City. With this information, Alpha Company of this unit immediately organized a team to retrieve the said firearms. After two (2) hours of travel, the team successfully recovered the firearms at around 08:40 in the morning of the same day.
It can be recalled that just last month (December 2017), eight (8) NPA members belonging to GF71, FSMR likewise surrendered to 73IB bringing along with them two (2) high-powered firearms. Their decision to return to the mainstream was an aftermath of the setback they suffered during their group’s encounter with the government forces last December 01, 2017 wherein two (2) of their members died and five (5) high-powered firearms were recovered.
“This is an excellent manifestation that our efforts on winning against communist terrorists through focus military operations and Community Support Program (CSP) activities are effective. Because of this, we are expecting more surrenderees in the coming days. Thus, we are reiterating our call on other NPA members to lay down their arms, surrender and avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).”, Lt Col Marion Angcao, Commander 73IB said.
“The significant increase of former NPA terrorists returning to the folds of the law is also an evidence of our effective collaboration with the Local Government Unit and Local Officials of Province of Davao del Sur”, he added. 73IB / MCAG