BORONGAN CITY — An NPA cadre in Eastern Samar surrendered to the 78th Infantry Battalion and exposed the Communist Terrorist Group’s (CTG) arms caches containing high-powered firearms and improvised explosive devices (landmines).

The NPA identified as alias Roel served as the political instructor and the assistant squad leader of Squad 2 in the NPA’s Guerilla Unit operating in the southern municipalities of Eastern Samar.

He voluntarily surrendered on June 15 Lieutenant Colonel Oliver C. Alvior, commanding officer of the 78th Infantry Battalion based in Brgy. Lalawigan, Borongan City. Upon his surrender, he brought with him one (1) 5.56mm M16A1 rifle, magazines, and numerous ammunition.

He was immediately given the mandatory medical and dental care as provided under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.

Citing starvation and fatigue due to constant movement across the hinterlands of Eastern Samar as the primary reasons for his surrender. He has been successfully convinced to lay down his arm after series of negotiations mediated by Llorente-Gen MacArthur Peace Builder Group (PBG) whose members are former NPAs and supporters of the CTG.

Amazed by good treatment of the soldiers toward him, which is in stark contrast to the lies and fears instilled by his NPA comrades, alias Roel decided to reveal critical information on the status of the said NPA guerilla front.

In his statement, he affirmed that the terrorist group had lost most of its manpower as a result of the relentless combat and security operations implemented by 78IB and Eastern Samar Provincial Police Office (ESPPO) as the main operating units under the Peace and Law Enforcement Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster here in Eastern Samar.

The constant military operations also disrupted their capability to recruit new members forcing the rebel group to leave excess firearms in their caches through their former contacts in numerous barangays.

Alias Roel, assured of his safety and security by the government, also revealed the location of Communist Terrorist’s arms caches in the hinterland barangays of Gen. MacArthur, Eastern Samar. Thus, 78IB was able to locate and recover five (5) M16 rifles, two (2) M14 rifles, and six (6) IED main charge components.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Oliver C. Alvior praised the bravery of the former rebel in deciding to surrender his firearm and to pinpoint NPA arms’ caches. He gave assurance that the government will provide necessary interventions for alias Roel and his family as the latter decided to be law-abiding citizens of the Republic of the Philippines.

“The surrender of alias Roel and the discovery of the NPA arms cache is a manifestation of the effectivity of the whole-of nation approach wherein the collective effort of the TF-ELCACs particularly by the PLEDS and Local Peace Engagement (LPE) clusters represented by the Peace Builder Groups, have provided a conducive environment for the remaining active NPAs to surrender.

The increasing number of NPA surrenderees and the recovery of numerous firearms and explosives signify that the NPA in Eastern Samar are directionless because their top leaders in Eastern Samar have abandoned their fighters,” Alvior said. (78IB/8ID/PIA)