(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 29 March 2023) Easterlies affecting the eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies / Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas / (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Thursday, March 16, 2023

High-ranking CTG leader with 9 AK-47 rifles yields in AgSur

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – A number of neutralized communist terrorist groups (CTGs) continue to rise as high-ranking CTG leader, under the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee, surrendered along with his nine (9) AK47 rifles to the troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) and the Local Government Unit of Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur on March 9, 2023. 

The surrendered CTG leader, Patrick Tejeros Wagdos, is currently on custodial debriefing at the 3SFBn in Brgy. Saint Christine, Lianga, Surigao del Sur and he will be enrolled under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government.

It can be noted that another five (5) Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) surrendered in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur in February. Marion D. Tanso and Mariel G. Domino, surrendered to the joint elements of 23rd Infantry Battalion, 4ID and the 67th Infantry Battalion of the 10ID at Sitio Sunrise, Barcelona, Lingig, Surigao del Sur. Another three CNTs, namely, Romel A. Versusa, Fiderico M. Bahian, and Dondon C. Manpinsahan, with three (3) high-powered firearms, surrendered to 23IB at Jamboree Site, Purok 6, Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

The said surrenderees shared that their experience of extreme hunger and fatigue in the mountains while hifing from the government troops and their great desire to be with their families and loved ones were the reasons why they decided to lay down their arms and abandon the senseless cause. Moreover, they revealed that the unstable leadership, corruption inside the CTG, and the loss of support from their previous mass bases have severely impacted their morale. 

Since the beginning of 2023, 49 CNTs were already neutralized comprising of three members who were killed during encounters, one captured, and 45 who surrendered including other vice commanding officers as high-value individuals (HVIs), such as Ricky Mahinay and Leobert  Sumatra. 

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Wilbur C Mamawag, the 4ID Commander, said that the successive neutralization of CTG is a clear manifestation that the terrorist group is now crumbling and we expect the influx of surrenderees in the coming weeks. 

"The decision of former rebels to return to the folds of the law is a clear manifestation that the terrorist group is now on the brink of falling apart. And with our intensified Focused Military Operations and collaborative efforts under the auspices of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), this favorable trend is expected to continue," Mamawag said. (Maj. Francisco Garello, Jr., DPAO, 4ID, PA/ PIA-Agusan del Sur)