EASTMINCOM troops neutralize 452 Communist Terrorists, seize high-powered firearms

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Intensified focused military operations by troops of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) led to the neutralization of 452 Communist Terrorist Groups (CTG) members and seizure of high-powered firearms within five months.

Lieutenant General Greg T. Almerol, the Commander of EASTMINCOM said that 35 CTGs were killed, 26 were arrested, 194 surrendered and 197 withdrew their support to the terrorist movement since January 2022.

He also said that 342 high-powered firearms were seized by the Command from the CTGs. Of which, 106 were obtained through surrenders and 236 through combat operations during the period.

The largest of these was the confiscation of two M16A1 rifles, two M4 Carbines rifles, an M653 rifle, an M14 rifle, four M16 magazines, and four bandoliers on May 20. The location of the arms cache in Kitaotao, Bukidnon was revealed by a CTG leader who yielded to the troops of 1002nd Brigade’s 72nd Infantry Battalion (IB).

With EASTMINCOM’s neutralization of CTG members and clearing of areas formerly influenced by the terrorists, six guerrilla fronts and two Sub-Regional Guerilla Units (SRGUs) were dismantled this year.

According to Lieutenant General Almerol, EASTMINCOM’s accomplishments can be attributed to the collaborative efforts and cooperation of local leaders and former rebels.

“We commend the strong synergy of government security forces, the TF-ELCAC, and former rebels, which ushered the reduction of CTG forces and firepower. It exhibits that our whole-of-nation approach, through Executive Order 70, continues to reap fruits evident by our triumphs,” he said.

He also lauded the troops for their tireless work and dedication to ending the local communist armed conflict before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte culminates his term.

“Rest assured that our efforts to curb the remnants of the CTG, coupled with the developments efforts of the Local Government Units, will continue to encourage more terrorist personalities to surrender, especially now that they are at the brink of total collapse,” added Lieutenant General Almerol. — AFP

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