A COUPLE and another man whom the military claimed to be officers of the Communist New People’s Army (NPA) have returned to the folds of the law as they reportedly turned themselves in to the authorities in Claveria, Misamis Oriental early this week.
Government troops identified the three NPA political cadres as Aurellio Pinatawan alias Rex/Macmac, his wife Jorelyn and Rico Ayoma.
The military said Aurellio was a political instructor and platoon leader of Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad (SRSDG) of Sub-Regional Committee One (SRC1) of the NPA's North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) while his wife was an underground mass organizer of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) as secretary of the Pigsaludaan.
On the other hand, Ayoma was identified by the military as supply officer of Squad 3, Platoon PPH of SRC1, NCMRC.
The couple surrendered this week at the headquarters of the 58th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Migbanday, Poblacion, Claveria town.
The military said the couple accordingly experienced "political demoralization upon realization of the hopeless, none-social, and pointless revolutionary ends and exploitation of the masses by their higher leaders."
"Having access to classified information as political and military officers, these surrenderees revealed the plans of the CPP-NPA-NDF to urgently recover lost underground mass organizations in specific localities of Gingoog City, Claveria, and Lagongong in Misamis Oriental and Malitbog town in Bukidnon," the military said in a statement.
On the other hand, the military said Ayoma surrendered because of disappointment with the "pointless running and hiding in hunger".
Ayoma also yielded his AK-47 gun and ammunition.
"Since the total occupation of their guerilla base in Lantad-Balatukan Mountain by the 58IB last year, life on the run inside the guerilla movement have since become so very hard," the military said quoting Ayoma.
The three former communist rebels will avail of assistance through the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
"I welcome all our brothers and sisters who are willing to return to the folds of our government. I assure them that we will help them achieve a peaceful life and ensure that their benefits under E-CLIP will be given to them," 58IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Roy Anthony Derilo said.
Derilo assured that not a single NPA who surrendered has experienced any torture or was killed.
He also emphasized that economic and infrastructure development is the ultimate solution to insurgency and not the military.
"In winning over the masses, the NPA is actually competing with the LGU leaders, not with the military. The LGU leaders' ability to address socio-economic issues is the defining factor for victory, not the military's ability to kill as many enemies as it can, as it is even wrong," Derilo said.