The 10th Infantry Division (10ID) claimed in a statement Wednesday that seven guerrillas from the communist terrorist New People’s Army, including two minors, surrendered to the 60th Infantry Battalion (60IB) in Davao del Norte, carrying with them four high-powered firearms.
They are all members of the Weakened Guerilla Front (WGF) 3, Sub Regional Committee (SRC) 4, and the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
They were identified as Toto Morgades Tumagsa alias Jiboy, 21, team leader; Rene Tumagsa Tiklonay alias John/Alex, 19, team leader; Lyka Casal Velis alias Marian/Mary Ann/Yawe, 23, team medic; Ronafe Catarata Adregado alias Chacha/Ritchie/Gareb, 19, platoon medic; Monding Tilocan Balanban alias Bato/Lubas, 48; a 16-year-old member who served as a supply officer; and a 15-year-old member who served as a team medic.
The 10ID said the seven voluntarily surrendered on September 20 to Lt. Col Ronaldo Sarmiento, commanding officer of the 60IB located in Sitio Tawinian, Brgy Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
10ID spokesperson Capt. Mark Anthony Tito bared that the group had turned up three M16 weapons and one M653 rifle.
According to the surrenderers, they abandoned the WGF 3, SRC 4, SMRC in Loreto, Agusan del Sur, under the command of Alfie Olbis Trabado alias Coco/Cardo/Sulay, on September 16, 2021, owing to hunger, anxiety, and stress brought on by the 60IB’s constant targeted military operations in the area.
The 60IB is now facilitating a medical checkup and coordinating with the Kapalong Municipal Police and the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office (MSWDO) to ensure that the two juvenile surrenderers are properly handled.
“The Intel operatives of 60IB is currently conducting custodial debriefing as their requirement for the enrollment to the Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” the 10ID said.
“The said battalion also coordinated with the Philippine National Police counterparts for the filing of appropriate charges against the WGF 3 personalities for their recruitment of minors – a clear violation under Violence Against Women and Children,” it added.
Meanwhile, the 10ID’s commander, Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., praised the troops for their achievements.
“Without firing a single bullet, we were able to persuade our enemies to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law. Truly, the developmental effort is one of the contributors for a just and lasting peace in our community,” he said.
The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have all designated the Communist Party of the Philippines as a terrorist group.