LAS NAVAS, NORTHERN SAMAR – On August 17, 2023, Benie Alegria, also known as Olsen or Yahoo, and identified as the secretary of section committee 1, front committee 1, sub-regional committee emporium of Cluster 1, voluntarily surrendered to the troops of the 3rd Infantry (Regardless of What) Battalion through the intercession of Mayor Arlito A. Tan of this town.

Algeria, a resident of Brgy, Epaw, had been lying low since February 2023. A day after a tactical interview, he revealed the location of an arms cache, consisting of two M16A1 rifles and 14 bottles of IV dextrose fluid.

The recovery was led by 1Lt Ron Ryan Pilapil, the commanding officer of Bravo Company, along with the team of Northern Samar Police Mobile Force led by Police Staff Sergeant Japeth Esquillo.

The surrender was a result of the joint efforts of the unit’s tactical, operational, and civil-military operations through the Modified Community Service Support Teams (MCSST) deployed in the area.

Troops engaged in various activities, including massive loudspeaker operations (panawagan), installation of tarpaulins, distribution of leaflets, face-to-face dialogues, and pulong-pulong sessions.

Alegria’s decision to prioritize the well-being of his family over personal grievances demonstrates his leadership qualities. His actions stand as an inspiration for others who may find themselves caught in similar circumstances, reminding us of the transformative potential of peaceful resolutions.

Mayor Arlito Tan expressed his satisfaction with the unit’s success. He emphasized the positive impact of the army’s efforts to maintain peace in his municipality and extended immediate assistance to Benie and his family.

“The surrender of a former NPA member showcases the government’s determination to end insurgency. The local government of Las Navas is open to welcoming those who wish to return to the fold of the government,” he said.

Lt. Col. Isidro D. Vicente, the commanding officer of the 3rd I, commended the exceptional performance of the troops in the area.

He emphasized that Alegria’s surrender was made possible by the dedication and hard work of the troops, and this success benefits not only the military but also the affected family and community. He rallied the troops to continue their mission with unwavering commitment. “Kudos to all the efforts,” Lt. Col. Vicente stressed.

“This accomplishment is a testament to the 3rd Infantry Battalion’s dedication to duty. The community’s support was also vital and deeply appreciated, as it reflects their eagerness to end conflict within their vicinity,” he said.(PR)