Communist Terrorist Group in Bukidnon Face Inevitable Collapse as 17 Rebels Surrender

MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon – 17 NPA Terrorists simultaneously surrendered with 11 various firearms in the Balik-Loob sa Gobyerno program of the 1st Special Forces Battalion on May 4. 

Rebels from the Sub-Regional Command 4 (SRC), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee finally waved the white flag instead of the red due to relentless pursuit by elite forces, fierce firefights, and deadly encounters every month since the beginning of 2021.  

Lieutenant Colonel Vercisio G San Jose Jr, Commanding Officer of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, spearheaded the surrender of the 17 red fighters.

“I encourage the NPA to abandon its twisted and violent communist ideology and peacefully surrender to avail of the socio-economic programs of the government. But for those NPA terrorists who refuse to heed the government’s call to lay down their arms, the 1st Special Forces Battalion will be relentless and aggressive in the fight to end their violence. We will hunt them down until the last CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) element is neutralized and prevented from waging violence against the innocent civilians and to the legitimate government,” LtCol San Jose said in the press conference after the ceremony.

Brigadier General Ferdinand T Barandon, Commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade likewise said, “The rebels have finally reached their breaking point. They are hungry, confused, and desperate. The cause they sacrificed their life for only brought meaningless bloodshed, intimidation of innocent civilians, and socio-economic despair to society. Now they have come to their senses. They can start anew as we continue to do everything we can to protect these victims of abusive, hypocritical, dualistic leaders preaching the communist ideology.”

During the ceremony, Regional Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga of DSWD Region 10 gave a heart-warming message: “Walang Iwanan.  It matters not what social class we come from, what culture we were raised in, to which group we belong, or what name we call God, every one of us deserves a life of peace, freedom, and democracy.”

DSWD Region 10 provided family food packs, Hygiene Kits, Kitchen Kits, Sleeping Kits, and substantial financial assistance for the Former Rebels. These socio-economic packages will help them start a peaceful chapter of their lives in mainstream society.  

Balik-loob sa Gobyerno was graced by no less than the Honorable Governor of Bukidnon, Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr.

“It is disheartening to see the great divisiveness caused by those who wish to tear us apart. Each time the NPA wage war, not only the soldiers pay the price. Every Filipino pays the price,” Gov. Zubiri said in his message.

“Millions of taxpayers’ hard-earned pesos are wasted on these wars, taking away much-needed pesos from communities that need it most. Therefore, we need to initiate change. Their surrender is a step closer to peace we all strive to achieve,” Zubiri added.

The Provincial Government of Bukidnon likewise extended assistance to the FRs such as sacks of rice and Php25,000.00 each to support their immediate needs.

Meanwhile, Major General Andres C Centino, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, stated, “As servant of the people and the primary agency of government in fighting the CTG, we can only do so much. The problem of insurgency needs more than the Armed Forces, it needs the participation of all government agencies in solving the root-causes of conflict and the participation of our people to support the programs of the government and embrace peace. This is what we call, the Whole of the Nation Approach that the government is implementing through the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Every agencies, every citizens has their role to play”, MGen Centino stressed.

“Together we will be able to end the Communist Armed Conflict in this country”, MGen Centino ended.

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