CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela – Five Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army Terrorist (CNT) mass base supporters also known as the “Militia ng Bayan” (MB) voluntarily surrendered to the joint elements of the 17th Infantry (Do-or-Die) Battalion (17th IB) of the 5th Infantry (Star) Division and local Police of Rizal, Cagayan at Brgy Masi, Rizal Cagayan on February 10, 2018.
Troops from the 17th IB and the local police force of PNP Rizal with the help of the Brgy Officials facilitated the surrender of the five CNT supporters who were all residents of the said Brgy. The names of the CNT supporters are withheld in the meantime for security reasons.
The five CNT supporters were initially brought to the Rizal Municipal Police Station for recording purposes, together with Brgy Councilor Chi Palmea of Brgy Masi, and then to the Headquarters of 17th IB at Brgy Masin, Alcala, Cagayan for custodial debriefing.
According to Lt Col Camillo Saddam, the five CNT supporters were mostly farmers and believed to be relatives. “The surrender of the CNT supporters will have a big impact on the enemy. They revealed important information necessary in the accomplishment of our peace and order effort in Rizal, Cagayan,“ said Lt Col Saddam.
BGen Perfecto M Rimando Jr, Commander, 5th Infantry Division commended the personnel involved in the successful negotiation leading to the surrender of the five CNT supporters. “I commend the personnel of the 17th IB to include the local police force for their outstanding effort, and the Brgy Officials of Masi, Rizal, Cagayan for their cooperation.” BGen Rimando said.
“I urge the remaining “Militia ng Bayan” in the 5ID AOR to follow the footstep of those who surrendered. We cannot bring peace and development to our communities if we continue to connive with the enemies of the state. It is not too late to change; I urge the other CNT supporters to embrace the opportunity offered by our government.” BGen Rimando added.
A day before the surrender of the CNT supporters, the same troops of 17th IB discovered an enemy encampment that can accommodate up to 100 CNTs, not far from the Brgy. The same troops also encountered MOL 10 CNTs around noon on Feb 10, also at the same Brgy.