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Davao City, Philippines

NPA political officer surrenders

June 20, 2019 - Thursday 11:06 AM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image File photo of an NPA member by Karlos Manlupig

DAVAO CITY -- A high-ranking political officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Davao City and Davao del Norte surrendered to the military on Wednesday.

1003rd Infantry Brigade public information officer Army Captain Erick Wynmar Calulot identified the surrenderer as Epifanio Blas, 49, a resident of Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District.

Calulot said Blas was the assistant secretary of “Hingpit Organisadong Masa” or Local Party Branch, one of the NPA’s underground mass organizations, in Barangay Malabog.

Blas brought with him nine Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) designed as anti- personnel mines.

Calulot said Blas surrendered after he realized the sincerity of the continuing peace building efforts of the 16th Infantry Battalion (IB) in the area.

1003rd IB Commander Colonel Nolasco Mempin said Blas’ surrender was a result of the military’s “relentless effort to completely clear the barangays from NPA influence.”

“Paquibato is transforming into a more peaceful state largely due to the combined peace and development efforts of the unit with Davao City’s Peace 911,” Mempin said.

Earlier this week, three NPA members were captured in a combat operation by the 27th IB in Sitio Pangi, Barangay Lunen, Tupi, South Cotabato.

The 27th IB said the operation resulted in the recovery of one M14 rifle, one M653 rifle, one caliber .45 pistol, one home-made Uzi, one rifle grenade, and subversive documents.