By Mike Crismundo
An alleged bomb expert and vice commander of the Milisyang Bayan Cluster Command (MBCC) of the New People’s Army (NPA) in southern Mindanao voluntarily surrendered to the operating troops of the Army’s 71st Infantry Battallion (71st IB), claimed Capt. Jerry S. Lamosao, chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Army’s Southern Mindanao 10th Infantry (Agila) Division (10th ID), on Friday.
In a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin, Lamosao, identified the rebel surrenderee as only certain alias “Ka Raffy”, vice commander of MBCC and vice commander Sector Sapa of guerrilla-Front Committee 2 of the CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
His true identity was withheld for security reason as tactical investigation is still ongoing.
“MBCC is a group that is tasked to conduct sniping, extortion and ambuscades using bombs,” claimed the 10th ID PAO officer.
He added that “Ka Raffy” who yielded to the command group of the 71st IB under Lt. Col. Esteveyn E. Ducusin yielded on Saturday (December 2) and vowed to help the government ‘s peace and development program.
The pronouncement of President Duterte’s “surrender or die” made this bomb expert return to the fold of the government. “Besides he is also tired of running in the mountains and wanted to live a peaceful life and productive citizen in their locality,” Ducusin said, in the same statement.
During initial tactical investigation the surrenderee disclosed his participations on several tactical offensives using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) against AFP/PNP personnel in the unit’s area of operation, the 71st IB commander also claimed.
Despite the pronouncement of Duterte’s “surrender or die!, their unit is still open to those who intends to voluntarily submit themselves, cooperate and return to the folds of the law,” disclosed Ducusin.
The 71st IB commander added that the NPA terrorist extortion and hostile plan against vital establishments as well as the government forces are preempted and that he directed his troops to intensify security measures in order to continuously maintain peace and order in the area.
“The 71st IB is steadfast to achieve just and lasting peace for the people of Compostela Valley (ComVal) province and some part of Agusan del Sur, “he said.
Meanwhile, a total of 120 members of Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) allegedly affiliated to guerilla-Front Committee 2 and SECOM 27 of CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), surrendered and pledged its full support in attaining just and lasting peace in ComVal province to 71st IB from November 28,to December 7, 2017 at Purok 8, Barangay Nueva Visayas, Mawab, ComVal province.
UGMO is allegedly part of NPA’s organizing tactics composed of Sangay sa Partido (SP) that leads the group toward mass actions as well as the armed group barangay immersion and Milisyang Bayan (MBs) who will act as the lowest armed group that is tasked to conduct ambuscades and any other annihilative activities to deter and inflict casualties to government forces, Ducusin claimed.
According to Ducusin, 71st Battalion commanding officer, “The Militia and the SP’s will not support the NPAs, they are tired of their propaganda of winning over the government. We do not condone any arrangements with this terrorist [NPA]. Your Army will use all its capabilities to pursue those who continuously commit terror acts and destroy peace,” he added, in a statement.
“With full force of the Army, ensures the safety of the innocent people within our area of responsibility. The remaining communist-terrorists (NPA) in the area will face the consequences of their terroristic actions. However, those who choose to surrender will have their normal life back under CLIP of the government, says Major General Noel S. Clement, Southern Mindanao 10th Infantry (Agila) Division chief said, in the same statement on Friday.
With the current mass surrender, Army troopers disrupted the communist-terrorists’ plan to conduct terroristic activities, he added.