Following successive military operations in Sultan Kudarat, two members of the communist terrorist group put down their arms and returned to the folds of the law, according to the WesMinCom Commander.
The two were identified as Jonathan Saliling, a.k.a. Jonathan/Atan, and Michael Lugko, a.k.a. Umpak/Michael, both members of the East Daguma Front, Sub-regional Command Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region under Arthuro Arsigan, a.k.a. Macmac, according to Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western.
“The two submitted themselves to the 7th Infantry Battalion at Old Capitol, Barangay Kalawag 2, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat past 9 p.m. last night, January 1, 2021,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.
Two M1 Garand rifles (Springfield) were turned into M14 rifles by the duo.
Due to the repeated military operations and airstrikes, a.k.a. Jonathan stated at the initial debriefing that they are starving and tired of hiding.
Similarly, a.k.a. Umpak has expressed concern about being killed during violent clashes with government forces.
Meanwhile, 7IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Romel Valencia expressed his delight that the two opted to pledge loyalty to the constitution and repudiate the communist terrorist organisation.
The surrendered individuals are currently being debriefed in custody at the 7IB headquarters.
“The two will be enrolled in the reintegration program of the government to ensure that they will not be lured back to the culture of violence,” said Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, the 601st Infantry Brigade Commander.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central, praised the 7IB troops for their outstanding performance.
“This is attributable to the collaborative efforts of our troops and other government agencies,” said Maj. Gen. Uy.