15 NPA terrorists, 63 militia men surrender; AFP claims victory

Published May 31, 2018, 3:03 PM

by iManila Developer

By Mike Crismundo

CAMP JAIME N. FERRER SR., Bislig City – Field commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed strategic victory on Thursday following the surrender of 15 heavily armed Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) and 63 members of Militia ng Bayan (MB), during surrender rites held at this military camp in Northeastern Mindanao today (May 31).

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin)
FILE PHOTO: Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin File Photo)

The surrenderees were formally presented by Brig. Gen. Andres C. Centino, commanding general of the 401stInfantry (Unity) Brigade and Lt. Col. Jaime R. Datuin, commanding officer of the Army’s 75th Infantry (Marauder) Battalion to Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID).

The armed CNTs also yielded 14 high-powered automatic rifles and 20 low-powered firearms and several bomb materials and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“This is a big blow against the communist movement in this part of Mindanao and I commend our field units for the continuing success of their operations,” said Maj. Gen. Villanueva.

Local government unit officials based here and officials from neighboring province of Agusan del Sur led by Provincial Board member Santiago B. Cane, Jr. and by Mayor Edwin G. Elorde of Bunawan town, Agusan del Sur, also witnessed the surrender rites.

“This is a result of the efforts of all units in the area and local government unit officials, since the start of our anti-insurgency drive, as more CNTs are coming to the fold of the government,” said Brig. Gen. Centino.

The surrenderees took their oath of allegiance to the Republic, with Bunawan town Mayor Edwin G. Elorde officiating.

Top AFP officials in the region led by Maj. Gen. Villanueva welcomed the former rebels after the oath-taking ceremony.

Meanwhile, the command group of the 4th ID here today (May 31) welcomed back the 75th Infantry (Marauder) Battalion (75th IB) in a reassignment ceremony held at Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr., here.

The 75th IB traces its roots from the famed 26th Infantry Battalion Combat Team in 1950s which earned distinction in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog. In 1970s, it was reorganized, refitted and retrained, then designated as 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion of 4th ID that was deployed in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Sur, Zamboanga del Sur, Basilan and Sulu archipelago.

n 1980s, when First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR) was activated, the unit was absorbed into the new organization and became the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion that covered Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon provinces. When FSRR was deactivated, 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion with 10th Scout Ranger Company was reorganized again to become the 75th IB that is the strike unit of 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division effective January 1, 1990.

From then, 75th IB was deployed to different areas in Mindanao from Davao City to Sultan Kudarat to Maguindanao, to Cotabato City, to Davao del Sur and North Cotabato from mid to late 1990s.

Remarkably, the unit participated in the all-out-war of the government against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which resulted in the fall of Camp Abubakar and its satellite camps. Further, 75th IB was deployed to Sarangani province and was adjudged as the Best Battalion of 6ID in 2001.

From 2001 to 2009, 75th IB confronted different threat groups of: MILF, Abu Sayaff Group, and Misuari Breakaway Group in the different areas of deployment in Southern and Western parts of Mindanao.

On December 23, 2009, 75th IB was placed under operational control again of 4ID and was given the area of Southern Bukidnon and Wao and Bombaran of Lanao del Sur under 403rd Infantry Brigade. 75IB was transferred to the control of 402nd Infantry Brigade that covers the area of Lianga, Barobo, Tagbina, Hinattuan and Bislig City, all of Surigao del Sur and San Francisco, Bunawan and Rosario, all of Agusan del Sur.

Currently four Infantry Brigades, and 13 Infantry Battalions are deployed in the whole 4th ID area of responsibility that includes Caraga region, parts of Northern Mindanao and 2nd district of North Cotabato.

“4th Infantry Division is happy that finally 75th Infantry Battalion is back to its home and now a member of ‘Team Diamond. The 75th IB is an experienced combat unit of Mindanao and has confronted different kinds of threat groups – NPA terrorists, MILF, ASG and MBG that have made them what they are now.

“To 75th IB, welcome back to Team Diamond! I know that 75th IB will be doing its best to help 4ID achieve its mission of securing the populace in our area to achieve the peace and development they deserve” added Maj. Gen. Villanueva.