TACLOBAN CITY- The efforts of the government’s Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Eastern Visayas are showing gains as more members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) voluntarily surrendered to police authorities in the region.

This developed following the voluntary surrender of a ranking officer of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and four (4) other CTG members in Lope De Vega, Northern Samar on July 18.

The surrenderee was identified as alias Jun, 37, single, allegedly the finance and medical officer under FC2, SRC Emporium, who turned over a shotgun with two live ammunitions.
The second former rebel who decided to leave the armed struggle in the mountains was alias Toto, 39, and an NPSR-listed YM member under FC2, SRC Emporium.

Other surrendeees were alias Alvin, 44; alias Ben/Menor, 54; and alias Marilen, 51.All were residents of Lope De Vega, Northern Samar.

Police Colonel Ma. Bella D. Rentuaya, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 8, said that personnel of the 1st Northern Samar Police Mobile Force Company (NSPMFC) led by Police Major Norman S. Kiat-Ong Jr. with the support of the personnel of the Army’s 43rd Infantry Batallion led by Technical Sergeant Willie O. Macatimpag facilitated the successful surrender of the five (5) former rebels.

Other units who facilitated the negotiation were the personnel of Lope de Vega Municipal Police Station led by Police Captain Ariel Baldoza and the 804th Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8 through Police Captain Tyrone Mark Cartalla.

Prior to this, a 32-year-old farmer identified as alias Edmar from Maslog town in Eastern Samar also voluntarily surrendered to the 801st Mobile Company, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8, in Brgy. Garden, Arteche, Eastern Samar.

He also personally handed over to the authorities a homemade shotgun with two magazines and four live ammunitions.

Edmar is allegedly a former member of Yunit Militia in Maslog who was reportedly recruited by alias Dado, platoon leader of F3, SRC-ARCTIC, EVRPC under the command of Carlito Guadiana alias Carding/Bong.

The successful negotiation was made through the efforts of the personnel of the 801st Mobile Company, together with the personnel of the Eastern Samar Provincial Police Office, Police Intelligence Unit, 1st Eastern Samar Police Mobile Force Company, and the 42nd Infantry Battalion, 9ID, Philippine Army.

Police Brig. General Vincent S. Calanoga, regional director of the Police Regional Office 8, said the increasing number of CTG members who voluntarily surrendered to police authorities was the result of the intensified campaign of the government against insurgency.

“Ito ay bunga na rin ng maigting at sanib-pwersang pagpapatupad ng mga programa laban sa insurhensiya. Ang pagsugpo sa isyu ng local communist armed conflict ay patuloy na binibigyan din ng pamahalaan upang makamtan ang adhikain na kapayapaan at kaunlaran. Dahil kailanman, hindi magigin solusyon ang armas at dahas para sa magandang bukas,” Calanoga said in a press statement.

He also encouraged all rebels who are still fighting against the government to lay down their arms, give peace a chance, and start building a brighter future for their families. (MMP/CBA with reports from PRO-8)