AROUND 90 former communist rebels in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and hinterland villages of Cagayan de Oro City have abandoned the arm struggle and turned to the folds of the law, the military said.
The army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade recorded a total of 90 members of the New People’s Army, 146 Milisyang Bayan, 33 members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and 376 members of “Hingpit na Organisadong Masa”, the supposed underground organization of the National Democratic Front.
The military said these were the results of the collective efforts of the five army battalions under the 403rd Brigade that conducts community service in 58 barangays in the Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and hinterlands of Cagayan de Oro.
“Reasons ranging from failed promises, internal corruption, sexual opportunism, deception and lies, isolation and loneliness, hunger fatigue, and anxiety brought these regular NPA fighters into surrender,” the military said in a statement.
The military said the latest surrender was the young NPA couple.
Captain Ryan Layug, 403rd Brigade civil military officer, said the barangay immersion of the army’s community support teams enlightened the local residents who were radicalized and lured into supporting the NPA organization.
“Our soldiers penetrate remote areas and stay in geographically isolated communities to bring good news, help LGUs deliver services, and initiate dialogue to hear their reasons for supporting and joining the CPP-NPA-NDF,”Layug said.
403rd Brigade commander Brigadier General Edgardo De Leon said the military has long been embarked in pursuing a community-oriented efforts to address the community insurgency.
“We have long proven this approach to be effective, but we need the involvement of civilian agencies and the private sector for this effort to truly succeed,” he said.