Saturday, March 13, 2021

Gov’t’s Sincere Program for Ex-rebels Leads 2 NPA Leaders to Yield in Bukidnon

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City -
Two long-time top leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) heeded the call of the government for them to lay down their arms and surrender after seeing the harmonious and prosperous lives being enjoyed by their former comrades under the no-nonsense government approach in helping former rebels rebuild their lives.

The two NPA leaders identified as Armando Daluniag alias Ambo/Satur/Pegan/Dario, the Commanding Officer of Headquarters Force (HQF) Neo, Northern Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC), and also the former Deputy Secretary of Guerrilla Front 89 and Roland Lagunday alias Ben, the Squad Leader of Squad 2, Platoon 2, HQF Neo, NCMRC voluntarily yielded to joint government forces under 403rd Infantry “Peacemaker” Brigade of 4th Infantry Division on March 11, 2021, in Barangay Manalog, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

They also endorsed 11 high-powered firearms composed of four M16 rifles, three AK47 rifles, two M653 rifles, an M203 grenade launcher, and an M14 rifle to authorities.

The NPA leaders said that they decided to abandon the armed struggle after seeing the government’s sincere programs for peace and development and also the peaceful and harmonious lives being experienced by their former comrades who already surrendered to the government ahead of them.

BGen. Ferdinand T. Barandon, Commander of 403rd Infantry “Peacemaker” Brigade, said that he is positive that the country will see an end to the 52 years of communist insurgency.

“Once again, I call on those who want to surrender that our government’s door is open and there are many programs that are ready for you,” BGen. Barandon said.

MGen. Andres Centino, the 4th Infantry Division Commander, said that the NPA leaders’ surrender is a response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for the remaining NPA members to surrender.

“We expect that more NPA leaders and members will heed the call of the President to return to the folds of the government,” MGen. Centino added.

Meanwhile, Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) Commander MGen. Greg T. Almerol welcomed the decisive action of the two NPA leaders and called on the remaining members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) to do the same.

“This news is a great manifestation that indeed, the government and rebels can meet halfway through peaceful resolution of the conflict. I am asking rebels who remain in the mountains that they have nothing to fear should they decide to surrender. Many opportunities await them under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” MGen. Almerol said.

The EastMinCom Commander, however, did not mince words when he said that he will not hesitate to use force should the CTG resort to use harmful means that will endanger innocent lives and cause instability in Eastern Mindanao.

MGen. Almerol also thanked the member agencies of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the local government executives for their firm support in helping troops eradicate the causes of communist insurgency.

“With everyone on board, we can make our job as protector of the state and people easier. Let us continue to inculcate a culture of cooperation towards a peaceful and progressive Philippines,” MGen. Almerol said, urging both government officials and citizens of the country to join hands with the Command in attaining sustainable peace and development in Eastern Mindanao.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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