ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug 8 (PIA) - Communist terrorist NPA ranking couple decided to surrender after rough firefight, hunger, and exhaustion.
Lt. Col. Manaros M Boransing, Commanding Officer, 97th Infantry Battalion said that a ranking Communist NPA couple were rescued after an armed clash at Sitio Kasong of Barangay Tinuyop in Leon B. Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte on Thursday morning, August 6, 2020.
"A concerned civilian reported to our troops that the couple are signifying to voluntarily surrender when they were left behind by their fleeing comrades after the encounter," he said on a statement.
The wounded NPA identified as alias Peewee is the commander of HQ KALAW, with his wife alias Ritchie, who was also the Regional Medical Staff of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC), were abandoned by their comrades after the 15-minute firefight.
"He was badly wounded during the clash that transpired around 8:00 in the morning. Troops provided him medical first aid and brought him to our camp and eventually transferred to 1st Infantry Division Station Hospital for further medical attention," Lt. Col. Boransing added.
Earlier, the Army's 97IB also rescued on Wednesday a certain alias Jekjek after the clash in Barangay Midatag of the same town.
Peewee admitted that they were with alias Jekjek on the Wednesday's encounter.
"We were disorganized, that is why we left Jekjek behind. We were also tired and hungry evading the troops. The successive encounter and my lingering shoulder injury led me to surrender," alias Peewee said.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Leonel M. Nicolas, the Commander of the Army's 102nd Infantry IGSOON Brigade, who has operational jurisdiction of Zamboanga del Norte emphasized that the troops will continue to pursue all Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) operating in the region.
"The NPAs in Zamboanga Peninsula will now have a leadership crisis after this incident and we will pressure and continuously encourage them to surrender," Brig. Gen. Nicolas said.
"The 102nd Infantry Brigade together with our partner stakeholders through the Executive Order No 70 or the Local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict are commited in our efforts to achieve peace in the region," Brig. Gen. Nicolas added.
Moreover, Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, Commander, 1st Infantry Division emphasized that the doors of the government is always open for those who still wish to avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
"I urged the remnants of the group, the wounded, the hungry members of the WMRPC to lay down their arms and return to the folds of law," Maj. Gen. Ponio said.
"We assure you (NPA) that the Tabak troopers will abide with the rules of engagement and respect the rights of the adversaries," Maj. Gen. Ponio added.
The rescued CNTs (Communist NPA Terrorists) underwent intensive medical check-up and treatment at Tabak Station Hospital as of this posting. (NBE/RVC/PIA9 with reports from Cpt Sotero Abrito III, 102Bde,PA)