SAGUIRAN, Lanao del Sur: Three local terrorists, including a minor, laid down their firearms on Monday.
Mail Tinga 37, Jamil Dimasangcay, 24, and Juhari Mangotara, 16, surrendered to soldiers of the 82nd Infantry Battalion (IB) following a series of negotiations in Barangay Pawak at 4:30 p.m.
Under the Maute group sub-leader Imam, Mangotara and Dimasangcay fought against government troops in Gacap, Piagapo in 2017, while Tinga was involved in the series of armed engagement with soldiers in Butig and Piagapo in 2016, said 62nd IB Commander Lt. Col. Rafman Altre.
The three yielded one M79 grenade launcher and two caliber .45 handguns to the custody of the 82nd IB for proper documentation and disposition.
“We will continuously collaborate with local chief executives and other stakeholders encourage other supporters or even the locals with loose firearms to surrender and themselves to the fold of the law in order to sustain the peace we have achieved through our relentless military operations, said Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo 2nd, 103rd IB acting commander.
Meanwhile, Maj.Gen Roberto Ancan, Joint Task Force Zampelan Commander said, “Your Tabak Division remains steadfast in its commitment to attain just and lasting peace in its area of operation through our campaign against local terrorists groups and other threat. We also thanked the local government and other stakeholders for their continued trust and support to our troops in contributing peace and development in the whole province of Lanao del Sur”
“The Armed Forces condemn the exploitation of minors as combatants fighting for vested interests on battlefields. Why let the young bear arms and risk their limbs when they can be empowered to become peace catalysts,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Western Mindanao Command.
“This is a resounding call on young combatants and other terrorists to contemplate and reconsider our peaceful mechanisms to genuinely end the armed struggles in Mindanao,” he added.
Meanwhile, Altre also stated that there would be “no changes on the curfew hours” in the area, which is further verified by Cuerpo in a conversation with Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong.