NPA team leader’s surrender leads to seizure of arms cache in NorthCot

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 05 Oct) — The surrender of a team leader of the New Peoples’ Army’s (NPA) Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) operating in the hinterlands of Magpet, North Cotabato has led to the seizure of firearms in Matalam and President Roxas towns.

Harold Adjiaton, 30, a resident of Barangay Balite, Magpet yielded to the Army on September 29, a day after his commander, Rachel Daguman-Cortez, the alleged commander of Guerilla Front 53, was arrested inside the public market in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

Lt. Col. Rey Alvarado, commander of the 72nd IB based in Magpet, said Adjiaton turned over to them his caliber 45 pistol, a number of ammunitions, and a fragmentation grenade.

Adjiaton’s surrender was revealed by the 72nd IB only on October 5.

Alvarado said two days after Adjiaton’s surrender, they seized from a rebel hideout in Matalam, Cotabato an arms cache the NPAs had kept for months.

Another arms cache was discovered in nearby President Roxas, also in North Cotabato.

Alvarado said Adjiaton’s revelations during the investigation led them to the location of the firearms.

Cortez, who is also known as Commander Jazmin, Yade, and Raya, heads Guerilla Front 53 whose operations include the mountainous areas in Arakan Valley Development Complex in North Cotabato; Makilala town, also in North Cotabato; and parts of Davao del Sur.

Alvarado lauded the efforts of Adjiaton’s family and relatives in Magpet town in convincing him to surrender.

Adjiaton has been placed in the custody of the Army in North Cotabato.

Alvarado said they will ensure Adjiaton gets the needed protection, cash, and livelihood assistance under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integrated Program.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)