Davao City - The Philippine Army Intelligence and 1003rd Infantry Brigade under Col. Nolasco Mempin has retrieved 22 high-powered Fire Arms from a CPP-NPA Terrorist Group (CNTG) Pulang Bagani Company that is being monitored in the tri-boundary of Davao City, Davao Del Norte, and Bukidnon after three of NPA members surrendered on April 26, 2019, at Naval Station Felix Apolinario Panacan, Davao City.
Twelve (11 M16 and one M14 rifle) of the total twenty-two firearms were retrieved dawn of April 29, 2019, after the government troops acted on the revelation of the community in a Sitio on the northern boundary of Davao City and Davao del Norte, which the CPP-NPA Terrorist Group entrusted the firearms.
Initially, three firearms which were safely kept in an arms cache in a Sitio on the boundary of Davao City and Bukidnon were also retrieved in the afternoon of April 27, 2019, following the revelation of the community there at.
The afternoon of April 28, 2019, a follow-up operation led to the retrieval of another seven firearms in an arms cache in the same Sitio on the boundary of Davao City and Davao del Norte.
These successive retrieval efforts led to the retrieval of 15 M16 rifles, three M14 rifles, two Garand rifle, one M2 Carbine, and one Ultimax Light Machine Gun.
Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command attributed the retrieval to the continuing snowball of surrender brought about by the peace initiatives of the Local Government Units, the Enhanced Local Integration Program, and the pressure of the communities as more and more are declaring the CNTG as persona non grata.
"The peace initiatives of our Local Government Units send a goodwill message to our lost brothers that indeed, the government is still the best ally. This is further being bolstered by the successful implementation of E-CLIP which allows the reformation of Former Rebels and their eventual integration to the mainstream society," he said.
"With all these concerted efforts of the different peace stakeholders, the declaration of communities to the CNTG as persona non grata, which restricted them to recruit, made the NPA's strength going down to the point of equilibrium where there is a significant decline in the numbers of CNTG members and that their firearms are more than their manpower. This makes them resort on arms stashing to secure it," Santos added.
Santos also called those who are still in the armed group to surrender and avail the government's programs.