Agta NPA member yields 2 high powered firearms in Aurora

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija — Following a series of negotiations with the Agta Tribe, one of its members, a known member of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) returned to the fold of the law with two firearms on September 7, Thursday.

Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto Jr., Commanding Officer of the 91st Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army identified the CTG personality as alias ‘Ka Diego’, a former member of Sub-Guerilla Unit, Komiteng Probinsya, Isabela (former Central Front).

Ka Diego presented to the soldiers of 91IB two M16 rifles with short magazines and one long magazine and 47 pieces of 5.56mm live ammunition

According to Lt. Col. Recto Jr., the surrender of Ka Diego only shows that the Indigenous People are being exploited and recruited by the CTG as they are one of the most vulnerable sectors in our society.

“Christmas is fast approaching, I urged the remaining rebels to heed the call of the government for peace; return to the fold of the law; and support the peace and development programs in the province,” Lt. Col. Recto Jr. said.

He then lauded the Bravo Company of this unit led by 1LT Zamzamyn K. Dimasidsing for facilitating the return of Ka Diego to his family.

“Thank you for your dedication, job well done. I am hoping that more CTG members will be encouraged to return to the government,” he added.

On the other hand, Ka Diego said he decided to go back to his family because of exhaustion, starvation, hardship in the mountains, uncertainty of the cause, demoralization, and the absence of support from the civilians in the provinces of Aurora and Isabela to their agenda.

“Ako po ay nananawagan sa aking dating mga kasamahan na bumaba na para sa pagbabago ng kanilang buhay. Malapit na ang Pasko, bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang ating mga sarili na ipagdiwang ang araw na ito kasama ang ating pamilya. Lubos naman ang aking pasasalamat sa mga sundalo ng 91IB para sa kanilang magandang pagtrato sa akin simula pa noong ako ay bumalik sa gobyerno,” Ka Diego said.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army, Major General Andrew D. Costelo PA welcomed Ka Diego as he finally returned to the fold of the law to be with his family after years of exploitation in the hands of the terrorist organization. He also slammed the deceptive recruitment of the CTG to the members of the Indigenous People in the community.

“We assure Ka Diego that he will receive the benefits he deserves from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. Your Army along with our partner stakeholders are here to assist him in every step of the way towards living a peaceful and meaningful life with his family,” MGen. Costelo said.