CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela (DWDD) – As expected, 17 more Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) mass base supporters and symphatizers voluntarily surrendered to the joint elements of the 17th Infantry “Do or Die” Battalion (17th IB), 5th Infantry Division and the local Police of Rizal, Cagayan at Barangay Gagabutan, Rizal around 3PM on February 11, 2018.
The CNT supporters were all resident of BrgyMasi, Rizal, Cagayan, and the surrender was facilitated by Vice Mayor Joel A Ruma of the same municipality. Among the 17 surrendered, 3 belonged to the “Militia ng Bayan” (MB), the armed territorial elements in the barangay.
According to Lt Col Camilo Saddam, Battalion Commander of 17IB, the mass surrender of CNT supporters from BrgyMasican be attributed to their aggressive information dissemination in the area. Accordingly, the people were already spilling the names of their companions. “We expect more batches of surrenderers in the coming days, since the first group had already convinced their relatives to surrender as well,” LT Col Saddam, said.
BGen Perfecto M Rimando Jr, Commander, 5ID commended the effort of Vice Mayor Rumain assisting his constituents to the right path. “In our effort to finish the insurgency and terrorism in our country, what we need are government officials and people who have the courage to stand for righteousness, just like Vice Mayor Ruma.” BGen RimandoJrsaid.
“With the surrender of the supporters and symphatizers, we are expecting that in the coming days, CNTS will also come down. The support of the Local Government Units to our focused military operations is really a big factor in legitimizing our action on the ground.” BGen Rimando added.
A couple of days ago, five MB from the same Brgy surrendered to the same unit, after the discovery of a large CNT camp not far from the same Brgy. The troops also encountered MOL 10 CNTs around noon on Feb 10, also in the same Brgy. 5DPAO/MCAG