By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA
August 3, 2019
MARAWI CITY: Twenty-one Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) supporters and four Local Terrorist Group (LTG) members surrendered to the government on Thursday, military said.
In a statement, the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division’s Public Affairs Office (Tabak-DPAO) said the CTG and LTG surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 103rd Infantry (HARIBON) Brigade in Brgy Sabala Bantayao, Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur on Thursday, August 2, 2019.
The surrenderees also yielded one rocket-propelled grenade, one M1 Carbine rifle, one 1911A1 cal.45 pistol, two cal.38 revolvers, and ammunition, according to the statement.
Brig. Gen. Romeo S Brawner, Commander of the 103rd Brigade based in Kampo Ranao here, “One of the supporters of the CTG was a minor who surrendered to Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, 49th Infantry Battalion Commander.”
“Two of the surrendered LTGs were involved in the attack of Butig town in the year 2016”, added Brawner.
The surrender was a result of the joint effort with the local government unit of Lumba Bayabao headed by Mayor Mahar Dagalangit and the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the municipality.
The returnees pledged their allegiance to the constitution and likewise for the CNT surrenderees, they denounced the CTG.
Afterward, the local government of Lumba Bayabao declared the CTG as persona non grata. The declaration made their municipality in the province of Lanao del Sur the first to assert such act.
CLAN WAR SETTLED:
Warring families also settled their dispute during the event with the Bantak, Dimaporo, and Linga families affixing their signatures in a written pledge which formalized their settlement.
As a token of their commitment an improvised cal.50 rifle (Improvised Barrett) was surrendered during the event. Tugaya Municipal Mayor Alfattah Norol Pacalna also assisted in the settlement and was present during the settlement signing ceremony.
Recently, on July 28, troops from the 103rd Infantry Brigade encountered with the CTGs, who intruded into the town of Lumba Bayabao in the attempt of establishing a foothold in the area and to elude military operations in Bukidnon.
“The relentless offensive of the troops pressured the enemy forces to flee and this prompted their supporters to surrender. The said supporters revealed that they were obliged to support the CTGs in their area due to the fear that they will be hurt or killed if they refuse to support the CTGs”, said Brawner.
“We will assist the surrenderees to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. Likewise, separate integration program for the LTGs of Lanao”, Brawner concluded.
For his part, Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, lauded the local government unit of Lanao del Sur on the successful surrender of CTGs and LTGs and the declaration of the CTG as Persona Non-Grata.
“Your 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, in collaboration with the LGUs and other stakeholders, remains steadfast in its commitment to attaining just and lasting peace in our area of operation thru our campaign against terrorist groups and loose firearms,” said Ancan.
“Likewise, we thank the local government and other stakeholders for their continued trust and support to our troops in contributing peace and development in the whole province of Lanao del Sur,” Ancan added.