CAMP Brig. General Mateo Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal -- Five members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to joint elements of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade and the Police Regional Office 4A in Laguna while three others yielded to elements of the Army’s 76th Infantry Battalion in Occidental Mindoro on Friday.
According to Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the 202nd IB which has operational jurisdiction over Calabarzon, the five rebels were all natives of Quezon province.
The identities of the five surrenderers, who turned over two shotguns, were withheld for security reasons, Burgos said.
“The eventual collapse and demise of insurgency in Calabarzon is indeed irreversible. We are optimistic that more NPA rebels will surrender in the coming weeks,” he added.
Meanwhile in Occidental Mindoro, Lt. Col. Mario Lito Retirva, commanding officer of the 76th IB, identified the three surrenderers as alias Carlo, 19, alias Jet, 25, and alias Juliet, 45.
Retirva said Carlo was a former member of the merged group of Platoon Falcon and Roque, while Jet was from Platoon Dods, both under Guerilla Front Silangan, Sub-Regional Military Area 4D, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC). Juliet was a former medical officer of Kilusang Larangan Guerilla 2 under STRPC operating in Mindoro provinces.
Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., commander of the 203rd Brigade, which has operational jurisdiction over Mindoro island, said the successive surrenders in 203rd area show the success of the community-based negotiations of the troops, local government units (LGUs), the rebels and the people.
During interviews, the eight NPA surrenderers said they returned to the folds of the law due to their frustration and hopelessness over the unfulfilled promises of the NPA leadership. “Pinangakuan kami ng hukbo ng sustento sa pamilya o “SUPAMIL” na P3,000 at isang sako ng bigas kada anim na buwan na paglilingkod sa kilusan, pero lahat nang iyon ay panghikayat lang pala. Binigyan kami sa unang buwan pero hindi na nasundan. Puro na lang kami hingi ng mga pagkain sa mga tao sa barangay. Mara-ming beses na kamote at saging lang ang aming kinakain. Mahirap talaga, napasubo kami,” said the surrenderers from Mindoro.
“Hangad din namin na malinis ang aming pangalan para makapamuhay ng mapayapa kasama ang aming pa-milya kagaya ng aming mga kasama-han na nauna nang sumuko at nabig-yan ng pagkakataon at supporta ng gobyerno,” they added.
Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, lauded the efforts of the troops against the NPA terrorists in the area.
Parayno said the 2nd ID localized peace talks with the NPA communist terrorist group and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government are gaining more surrenderers in Regions 4A and 4B. “We are winning the campaign and the NPA rebels are fastly losing people’s support. We will sustain our gains until they are defeated the soonest possible time. Rest assured that NPAs who desire to surrender will be processed to avail the E-CLIP,” he added.
Under the E-CLIP, a former rebel will receive P15,000 immediate cash assistance, P50,000 livelihood assistance, firearms remuneration, access to housing, loans, medical and legal assistance, among others. It also includes educational benefits which can be extended to the rebel’s immediate family members.