IP-CNT members surrender to 23IB in AgNor

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Four (4) regular members of the Communist New People’s Army (NPA) Terrorist (CNT) and three Milisya ng Bayan (MB) voluntarily surrendered to the 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB) during the conduct of Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) immersion activity held in Sitio Bokbokon, Barangay Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte last March 09, 2021.

Three of the regular members of CNTs were from Guerrilla Front (GF) 4A, one was from the GF4B. All of the regular members and the MBs who surrendered were under the North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC) of the NPA.

They were identified as Alias Datu Hulas, 57 years old, PG, Squad Uno, GF-4A, bringing along with him one (1) M16 Rifle, one (1) Cal 9mm Submachine gun and one (1) Cal .45 Pistol; Alias Hain, 56 years old, Medic of GF-4A; Alias Jaya, 18 years old, Medic of GF-4B; Alias Chodi, 16 years old, Medic of GF-4A; Alias Justine, 21 years old, MB of Sitio Bulak, Barangay Lower Olave, Buenavista under GF4A; Alias John, 21 years old from Sitio Bokbokon, Barangay Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte under GF4A; and Alias Jay, 19 years old also from Sitio Bokbokon.

They voluntarily surrendered to Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the commanding officer of 23IB. Upon their surrender, they were also presented to Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale B Corvera, Mayor Avelina S Rosales of Las Nieves, Board Member Jun Radaza Escasiñas, P/Col. Martin Gamba, Provincial Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Agusan del Norte, and Datu Ronald S. Manhumosay during the PPOC Immersion activity.

The surrender of the regular NPA and MB members were facilitated by the different tribal leaders and members of the Higaonon tribe led by Datu Bawang Eddie Ampiyawan, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Agusan del Norte.

Datu Hulas, in a testimony during the activity thanked the government for opening its doors to those who decided to abandon the decaying armed struggle of the CNT.

“Daku kog pasalamat karong adlawa kay nia nako naka uli sa sabakan sa atong pang gobyerno gikan sa pag tukmod sa mga alantuson, ug sakrepeisyo sa kabukiran. Sa una, nadala gyod me sa walhong grupo tungod kay kanunay nilang gidaot ang imahe sa gobyerno, kay lage wala kuno kini nagpakabana sa mga gagmay nga mag-uuma. Apan karon, nakita nako ang dakong kausaban ug grabe ang ilang paningkamot aron matabangan kami nga maka baton ug hapsay nga pag puyo. Karong adlawa, mo ingon ko sa akong mga kuaban nga katawhan nga magtinabangay kita ug dili na kita magpailad sa walhong kalihukan nga maoy nilingla kanato sulod sa pila ka katuigan. Hinaot unta nga wala nay dautang mga grupo nga maka sulod pag usab sa atong komunidad aron dili na mahilabtan pa ang mga nag tubo natong kabatan-unang tribu,” Datu Hulas said.

Lt. Col. Paulo warmly welcomed the group of Datu Hulas, as he emphasized the realization of the IP communities on the terroristic activities of the CNTs.

“The vulnerabilities of the IPs were exploited by the CNTs. They usually recruit IP leaders because they can easily recruit additional members from their tribe,” Paulo said.

He added that the lives of the recruited IP leaders and members are in great risk and the families they left behind suffer from hardships and difficulties.

“It is so sad to note that until now, they are still recruiting and using the IP minors to serve for their group and fight against the government,” Paulo said.

Furthermore, the 23IB commander also thanked the group of Datu Hulas for finally realizing the evil intents of the CNTs and decided to return to the government and their families.

“We are so glad that these IPs finally decided to go back to the folds of the law by laying down their arms. May every IPs guard and guide each one of them so that they will be spared from the recruitment scheme and manipulation of the CNT group,” Paulo said.

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