CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Continuous military operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) prompted 313 members and supporters of the New People’s Army to return to the government fold in June 6-12.
The Northern Luzon Command alone recorded 277 regular members, supporters, and members of NPA-organized mass organizations who withdrew membership and support from the NPA in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Aurora Province during the said period.
On Independence Day, the AFP in cooperation with the local government of Tarlac facilitated the withdrawal of support by 100 members of AMBALA.
They join 41 other members of AMBALA who also rejected the NPA earlier on June 6.
The 7th Infantry Division, which covers the area of Tarlac, described AMBALA as a group organized by the New People’s Army. It was established to exploit farmers and agrarian reform issues in the area and has recruited members from 11 different barangays in Hacienda Luisita.
In place of AMBALA, the AFP assisted the farmers to organize MALAYA to help them in their advocacies.
The AFP also facilitated the withdrawal of support of a total of 132 members of a similar organization in barangay Bacayao and Manggang Marikit in Guimba, Nueva Ecija on June 7 and 8 respectively.
Also on June 8, four members of another farmers group based in Aurora Province returned to the folds of the law and withdrew their support from the NPA in a ceremony held at Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora.
Meanwhile, joint elements of AFP and PNP in Sta. Rosa Laguna under Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) forced 14 CNTs to surface on June 11. They also confiscated one shotgun, one cal .45 pistol, and four cal .38 revolvers from the said individuals.
The command also registered 12 others who surrendered in Quezon and Laguna on June 7 and 11.
In Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM), four “milisya ng bayan” members presented themselves to joint elements of 73IB and PNP in Davao Occidental on June 6.
On the same day, two CNTs also surrendered with their firearms to government forces in Agusan Del Norte and Agusan Del Sur. Meanwhile on June 7 and 9, two former CNTs returned to the folds of the law in Tago, Surigao Del Sur.
On June 7 and 12, the Western Mindanao Command and Central Command tallied one CNT apiece who abandoned violence in Zamboanga del Norte and Northern Samar.
Meanwhile, series of intense encounters, apprehensions, and voluntary submissions resulted in the overall seizure of 38 assorted firearms, seven anti-personnel mines, and 51 rounds of ammunition for the said period.
Most notable of which came from a 20-minute firefight between the 3rd Infantry Division and 10 CNTs in Igbaras, Iloilo on June 6.
The encounter resulted in the seizure of one M16 Rifle, two rounds of M203 GL ammunition, one bandolier, three magazines for M16 with 17 rounds of ammunition, NPA flag, one jungle pack, assorted terrorist propaganda materials, and personal belongings.
“We congratulate our troops on the group for these remarkable achievements. The commemoration of our nation’s Independence Day was made more hopeful with these victories in our communities,” AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr. said.“Every Filipino may rest assured in the AFP’s dedication in securing our nation’s freedom and in liberating exploited masses from the influence of the communist terrorist group,” he added.
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