TWENTY alleged members of communist terrorist groups surrendered to the authorities in Sagay City, Negros Occidental Saturday, March 30.
Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), said 10 unit militias and 10 mass supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) from the different barangays of Escalante City surrendered to the 79th Infantry Battalion (IB) led by Lieutenant Colonel Emelito Thaddeus Logan, and the 1st company of the Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company, along with the Special Action Force, 33rd Civil Military Operations Company.
The surrenderers were alleged members of North Negros Front - KR - Negros.
They turned over a KG9 with 12 live ammunition, four .38 caliber firearms with 12 live ammunition, and a .22 caliber firearm.
The rebels surrendered due to the intensive combat operations of the law enforcers and the continuous conduct of Police Community Relations activities and community support programs of the military in northern Negros.
Some local residents from 19 barangays in Himamaylan City condemned the presence of the Communist-NPA-Terrorist in the area through a peace rally on March 29 during the 50th founding anniversary of the NPA.
Himamaylan City was chosen to be the venue of the activity due to its current alarming situation in terms of CNT’s affectation in some barangays, a press release from the military said.
There were series of atrocities happening from the previous years up to now, which include the following: liquidation of innocent civilians and such other cases that were left undocumented, ambush and harassment of government forces, discoveries of harboring sites and hideouts in some sitios in Barangay Buenavista, and the celebration of the 48th Communist Party of the Philippines founding anniversary in the city in 2016, a press release also said.
The significant event was highlighted by testimonies of former rebels and oath taking to pledge support to the government.
A candle lighting was also held to condemn NPA atrocities.
There were also burning of CNT’s flags and symbols, and ceremonial release of doves as symbol of peace in the city.
Lieutenant Colonel Egberto Dacoscos, commander of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, said in his speech that “local government units, other agencies, and partner stakeholders should be aware of the security threat of the CNTs against the people in the guise of helping them solve their problems in the community to uplift their living conditions.”
They will deceive the people about their real interests and motives by spreading lies against the government for not addressing some of their socio-economic issues among others, he said.
“We should actively advocate peace and we should work together to put forward the agenda of peace among the people to address the root causes of conflict towards a just and lasting peace,” he added. (GYM)