A top NPA commander and executive committee (EXECOM) member of the New People’s Army’s (NPA) Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) who recently surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) presents recovered firearms in a ceremony held today, March 28, at 53IB Headquarters, Camp Sabido, Poblacion, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur.
Alias Andoy is the former Secretary, Political Officer, and Commander of the defunct Guerilla Front (GF) KARA under the WMRPC. Upon the dismantling of GF KARA in 2019, he became the Intelligence Officer of the now-defunct Regional Operations Command (ROC) and a squad leader in Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU), still both under WMRPC.
With Andoy are four of his former comrades: Rogene Maghinay alias Marlon, Reno Andang alias Poloy, Florencio Anguilay Jr. alias Cardo, and Jongie Laurete, also alias Cardo. They presented and turned-over 9 high-powered firearms to Army’s 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division (1ID) Commander Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio and 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade (102Bde) Commander Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas.
In a statement, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the surrender of alias Andoy and his former comrades is a clear manifestation and tangible proof of Zamboanga del Sur being an insurgency-free and development-ready province.
“The surrender of an EXECOM member of the WMRPC is a sign that their leadership is crumbling – a result of our convergence in making Zamboanga del Sur an insurgency-free and development-ready province,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
Meanwhile, 102Bde Commander Brig. Gen. Nicolas said the surrender of a top NPA leader with his comrades and their firearms will significantly cripple capability of remnants to commit atrocities against innocent civilians especially in the hinterlands.
“Communities in the hinterlands now feel safer and secured with the surrender of a top NPA commander, with his comrades and their firearms. Their acpability to commit violence and atrocities against the innocent will be significantly reduced,” said Brig. Gen. Nicolas.
1ID Commander Maj. Gen. Ponio also said that the Government will always welcome NPA members who choose to lay down their arms and go back to the folds of law.
“Our doors for them [NPAs] are always open. We encourage the remnants of the WMRPC to lay their arms now and start their lives anew,” said Maj. Gen. Ponio.
In April 2021, the Province of Zamboanga del Sur was declared as an “insurgency-free and development-ready” province by virtue of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 1357-2021. — 53IB