DAVAO CITY - Two members of the New People's Army (NPA) were arrested in Sitio Banhawan, Barangay Marayag, Lupon, Davao Orientalon Thursday, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) reported on Sunday.
In a statement, Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol said joint forces from the 10th Infantry Division, 701st Infantry Brigade, 66th and 48th Infantry Battalions, Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police (PNP), and intelligence units captured Ronnie Calibay (alias Lito) and Jimmy Samonte (alias Jim), members of the Guerrilla Front 18, Sub-Regional Committee 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, on December 2.
Also seized from their possession was an M16 rifle with an attached grenade launcher.
Almerol attributed the arrest to the culture of cooperation among the Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP, and former rebels who share the bulk of information that is crucial to the success of operations.
He urged other members of the NPA to peacefully surrender and "emulate the example of those who have already chosen the path of peace by embracing the government's sincere offer".
He added they can also benefit from the government's financial and livelihood assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
"This Christmas season is the best time to surrender so that you can be reunited with your loved ones without having to worry about your condition. Do not wait for another year to pass without changing the course of your life. I urge you to make your peaceful surrender as your New Year's resolution," Almerol said.
However, he said government troops will not hesitate to use force if the communist terrorists continue to resort to violent means, adding that it is the soldiers' responsibility to protect civilians first before anything else.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)