ILOILO CITY, May 26 (PIA) - Two high-ranking officers of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in Western Visayas voluntarily surrendered to the Army's 15th Infantry Battalion based at Barangay Tiling in Cauayan town, Negros Occidental on May 14, 2020.
In a press release issued by the battalion's Civil Military Operations (CMO) Officer Weann Sandag, the returnees were identified by 15IB Commander Lieutenant Colonel Erwin Carino as Hermosilla Villamor alias "Aya" and Teody Manorte alias "Koko."
Alias Aya is a 45-year old female, who is said to be a Front Committee member of the South West Front in Negros.
She is a former finance and medical officer of the NPA's South East Front and Medical Staff of Front 1B, Bohol Party Committee, and now the political guide of the SYP Platoon of South West Front, the press release said.
Alias Koko is a 27-year old, male who is a Squad Leader of SYP Platoon of the South West Front, noted in the news release.
The two returnees yielded through the effort of the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the 15IB operating in Barangay Sangke in Hinobaan town, Negros Occidental.
On his part, Carino warmly welcomed the returnees who apparently realized that their lives in the communist movement have led nowhere.
"Their surrender is a concrete proof of increasing dissatisfaction among the NPA ranks brought by their false ideological hopes and dwindling leadership. Like many other former NPA members, they've given up after hiding and worse, being away from their loved ones, as well as dissatisfaction of the organization's policy and ideology," Carino said.
He also assured the surrenderers that the Army's battalion will assist them particularly in the processing of all necessary documentary requirements for their enrollment in the government's Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which will allow them to be completely integrated into the society.
Carino also encouraged the remaining members of the communist terrorist group to heed the government's call for peace while they still have time.
"Our anti-insurgency effort will be relentless. We will continue our counter-terrorist operations and keep the pressure on the enemies of the state to ensure the safety of the people in our area of operation while helping those who are willing to give up their anti-government activities," he added.
Meanwhile, Col Noel Baluyan, Commander of Army's 302nd Infantry Brigade, lauded the 15IB for facilitating the surrender of the two NPA officials.
"Negrenses are already fed up of the NPA's extortion activities and deceitful tactics of exploiting and agitating vulnerable sectors of the society including the youth," Baluyan said.
He called on the locals to remain vigilant and resist the communist-terrorist group's efforts to mobilize and organize the youth and other community members to join their ranks.
"Communism, an atheistic ideology that does not believe in the existence of God and religious beliefs, is unacceptable to God-fearing Filipinos," he said. (JBG-PIA6/15IB-CMO)