Thursday, November 19, 2020

200 Former Rebels yield to Government, Declares CPP-NPA-NDF Persona Non-Grata

ASUNCION, Davao del Norte
- 200 former CPP-NPA members and supporters from four (4) 'red-flagged' barangays of Loreto town in Agusan del Sur yields to the government with several firearms, explosive devices, and other war materials. They also declared the communist-terrorist group and all its legal fronts as Persona Non-Grata from their respective communities in a solemn but meaningful peacebuilding seminar facilitated by Loreto's LGU and the 60th Infantry Battalion over the weekend.

The recent mass surrender is a result of the Community Support Program (CSP) which was co-facilitated by the 60th Infantry Battalion (60IB) under the supervision of the 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the local government units of the Municipality of Loreto.

Representing the Honorable Mayor Lorife Otaza, Municipal Administrator Samson Ramilo together with representatives from the local government unit of Loreto, punong barangays, and other barangay functionaries attended the said event to witness the surrender, at the same time, participate in the signing of the declaration of Persona Non-Grata to the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The 200 former rebels and mass supporters swore in front of their municipal and barangay officials and the Philippine Army that they will no more extend all forms (money, food, moral, etc.) of support to the CPP-NPA-NDF.

Furthermore, they also pledged to withdraw all kinds of involvement to the said group. As proof, they ceremonially burned the three flags of the CPP-NPA-NDF while singing the patriotic song “Pilipinas Kong Mahal.”

Following the ceremony, Ricky, father of an NPA regular member and a former mass supporter, called for his son to come back and return to the folds of the real government. Hoping that his son will hear his statement, Ricky said that the government has a lot of programs waiting for him if he decides to surrender and live a peaceful life.

Also highlighted in the activity are a dialogue centered on the barangay peace and order issues, particularly the recruitment of the residents to become members of the NPA. Speaking on behalf of the Mayor, Municipal administrator Samson Ramilo said that the LGU commits to ensuring that the services, programs, and projects needed by the people will be delivered to them.

In a separate statement, 60IB Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Ronaldo Sarmiento promised to continue 60IB’s commitment of helping establish peace especially in communities affected by the communist terrorist group’s deceptive and destructive acts. He also assured the people that the Community Development Team (CDT) will remain in their community to help the government in the delivery of their basic services to the newly organized People’s Organizations (PO) and at the same time secure their community for possible recovery efforts of the communist terrorist group.

Former NPA regulars and militia ng bayan who surrendered their firearms will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program while the former Underground Mass Organizations will be reoriented to become a People's Organization and later endorsed to various government and non-government organizations who can fund livelihood projects and training to enhance their skills which will be used to improve their organization.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 60th Infantry Battalion, Joint Task Force Agila, PA

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