(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Sunday, 24 September 2023) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. Light to moderate winds coming from Southwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 1.5 meters).

Friday, 15 September 2023

3 rebels surrender, yield 5 firearms

BUTUAN CITY -- Three communist, new people's army (NPA) terrorists voluntarily surrendered and yielded five firearms to the operational control units of 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade namely, 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, and the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion in Agusan del Norte on September 12, 2023.

Compelled by the mission to finish the remnants of the communist terrorist group (CTG) by the end of this year, the 402Bde under Brigadier General Adonis Ariel G Orio has been persistent in the conduct of intensified military operations, supported by the stakeholder engagements through Civil-Military Operations, and the constant monitoring of intelligence operations in its area of responsibility. This resulted in a series of encounters, tightening CTG’s effort and freedom, hence, leaving them with no other decision but to surrender to the government, or be neutralized.

The former rebels were identified as Jhony Omandam Gapol alias Regor and Emerita Aporbo Lor alias Ging-ging/Ethyl/Dora, both members of Regional Office Command of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), who surrendered to 58IB together with M14 rifle and ingram Pistol Cal. 9mm respectively. 

On the same day, Randy Malinao Butao alias Yang/Dodong, a member of Milisyang Bayan (MB) and of the Guerilla Front 21 of NEMRC, who voluntarily surrendered and yielded his two (2) M16 rifles, and AK47 rifle to 23IB. 

According to the former rebels, they are now experiencing organizational collapse and leadership crisis after the death of their top leader, Dionesio "Muling" Micabalo, the regional secretary of NCMRC.

They added that the longing for their families was the main reason they decided to surrender, apart from the immense demoralization within their ranks and the hardships due to relentless military operation of the government troops.

These former rebels are now under the custody of the 23IB and 58IB for proper documentation, debriefing, and will be subjected to needs assessment survey for their possible assistance and enrollment to the Enhance Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) as facilitated by the local government units.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Orio lauded that the threats within its area of responsibilities are significantly decreasing with the assistance of the government. “We are overwhelmed that these CTGs were reducing with only less than squad size remaining members. These victories are highly attributed to the whole-of-the-nation approach as exemplified by our strong collaborations with the stakeholders and other government forces in putting an end to insurgency in Agusan del Norte and Misamis Oriental.”

Additionally, Brigadier General Orio stressed his message to the remaining CNTs to surrender peacefully and create a new life in the folds of the government. “You have your option, it is either you surrender peacefully and enjoy the freedom in this country or you will continue with your hardships and struggles by committing terrorism and violent extremism until your last breath. Again, the Stingers Troopers continues to intensify military operations to achieve its mandated tasks to defeat the threats, secure the people, and allow for peace to prevail.” (Cpt. Niño Benjamin R. Benjamin, CMO officer, 402IB PA/PIA-Agusan del Norte)