Wednesday, February 24, 2016

NPA Losing More Members, 5 Surrender in Davao Sur and Sarangani

MALITA, Davao del Sur – Five (5) former rebels surrendered to 73rd Infantry “Neutralizer” Battalion through the effort of the barangay officials in the area of responsibility of 73IB. On February 5, 2016, while the troops of 73IB were conducting community patrol in the boundary of Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur and Glan, Sarangani Province, @ Borjack and @ Pablo were found to be in the area near a creek and approached the troops and voluntarily surrendered. Ka Pablo is 21 years old while @ Borjack is 18 years old, they are both members of Platoon South, Guerrilla Front 71 and resident of Jose Abad Santos, Davao Del Sur. @ Borjack did not experience of going to school because of hardship thus he is illiterate. @Pablo on the other hand only finished grade 3.

Three days after February 8, 2016, @ Pastor, also a member of Platoon South, GF71, was accompanied by his brother who is a barangay councilman to Jose Abad Santos Police Station and Bravo Company, 73IB Command Post. Meanwhile on February 15, 2015 @ King a member of Platoon North, GF 71 surrendered to 73IB thru the effort of Barangay Captain Lente Salway of Barangay Pag-asa, Alabel, Sarangani Province. Another effort of a barangay official led to surrender of another member of NPAs GF71. Barangay Captain Modesto Aban, Barangay Captain of Barangay Tamban, Malungon, Sarangani Province help in the surrender of @ Alex, 19 years old, member of Platoon North, GF71 on February 17, 2016, a resident of Barangay Datu Danwata, Malita, Davao Del Sur.

The former rebels all claim that the leadership of the NPA failed its promise of financial support when they were recruited. Accordingly, their family to be left behind once they join will receive an amount of P2,000.00 per month. But after staying in the movement for months, not a single peso was received by their family. They realized that they were deceived by their recruiters. The hardship, lack of food and the trauma due to series of encounters contributed to their decision of surrendering. They also revealed that they felt envious to their former comrades who already started a new life with their families and have invested their livelihood assistance given by the government to them to farm animals and livestock raising. Furthermore, they revealed that many of them who were allowed to visit their families last Christmas season did not anymore return, making their ranks already severely depleted.

LTC RONNIE B BABAC GSC PA, 73rd Infantry Battalion Commander, congratulated them of their wise decision on going back to the folds of the law. “They can now live in peace together with their families. The 73rd IB, PSWDO, PNP and the Provincial Local Government Unit of Sarangani Province and Davao Del Sur are willing to help them avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government which provides cash and livelihood assistance to Former Rebels. With the surrender of these five rebels, a total of 72 members of rebels have already rejoined the mainstream society through the effort of 73IB and its stakeholders. This excludes those who were unfortunately killed in the encounters and who went on lie low but did not formally surrender to the government. He further urges the active members of the NPA to follow the steps of their former comrades and avail the program of the government."

“We see to it that our dismayed brothers and sisters will go back to the mainstream society. We are still hoping that this Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) will serve as an eye opener to other NPA rebels who are still in the movement but wanted to go back the mainstream society and live in normal life with their families” COL RONALD VILLANUEVA MNSA PA, Brigade Commander, 1002nd Infantry Brigade said.

MGENRAFAEL C VALENCIA AFP, Commander 10th Infantry “Agila” Division also added “the solution to insurgency problem is for all the stakeholders including the armed group to come together in the Filipino spirit of Bayanihan and work on our commonalities to attain peace and development.”

Source: 73rd Infantry (Neutralizer) Battalion, 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army

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