By Francis Wakefield
Six members of Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) of the Guerilla Front 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (GF2, SMRC) recently surrendered to military authorities in Compostela Valley.
In a statement, the Philippine Army said the surrenderees were led by one alias “Jian” (not her true name), Komiteng Tig-Organisa (KTO) chairperson, who voluntarily surrendered to the Headquarters of the 71st Infantry Battalion in Purok 8, Barangay Nueva Visayas, Mawab, Compostela Valley at about 10 a.m. Saturday.
KTO is the 2nd level of the NPA’s organizing in the barangay with series of indoctrination and lectures to the members in order to prepare them for another stage until their shadow government will be realized and rule their own revolutionary administration in their guerilla bases.
According to alias Jian, they [mass base] are pinpointed only by members of the NPA and were given different tasks such as to expand their organized mass base, monitor presence of soldiers, and collect extortion money as revolutionary taxes.
In the absence of mass supporters, the armed group will lose their access to the barangay and cut access toward financial and logistical resources.
“This Underground Mass Organizations or UGMOs are the breathing space of the NPA terrorists. Cutting off the mass support will deter them from entering their former comfort zone [barangays] and will definitely degrade the NPAs expansion program and decrease numbers of armed group recruits,” said Lieutenant Colonel Esteveyn E. Ducusin, commanding officer of Army’s 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion.
“Massive surrender of mass supporters from guerilla bases connotes that the NPA ideology and senseless struggle is failing and that the community already realized its baseless fight against the government,” Ducusin added.
As the new year begins, the 71st IB thanked the people of Compostela Valley province for the trust and confidence given to your Kaibigan troopers.
“Rest assured that we’ll remain steadfast and committed in performing our mandated task to deliver genuine peace in our area of operation,” he said.
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