FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija -- A total of 459 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and their supporters voluntarily surrendered to the folds of the government in just a span of two weeks.
This was done through the efforts of the 48th, 69th, 84th, and 91st Infantry Battalions all under the 703rd Brigade.
“From November 6-19, 81 NPA members, 19 Militia ng Bayan members and 359 NPA supporters yielded to the government. This was possible through the full support and cooperation of local government units, national government agencies and the residents of Central Luzon,” 703rd Brigade Commander Colonel Andrew Costelo said.
He directed his battalion commanders to continue to collaborate with concerned government agencies and other civil society organizations for the necessary interventions, privileges and other assistance under the enhanced comprehensive local integration program (E-Clip) to be given to the surrenderees.
“We are grateful that our government came up with EO 70, which is the Whole-of-Nation Approach to end insurgency in our country. We can also say that EO 70 is very much effective that our misguided fellow countrymen were enlightened and finally decided to lay down their arms and abandon their armed struggle because of the hardships and difficulties that they have experienced while in the underground movement. With their decision to return back to the folds of the law, they could at last enjoy a life free from fear and hiding. We will help them achieve that full kind of life,” Costelo added.
In a statement, 7thInfantry Division Commander Major General Lenard Agustin said he is very proud of the troops who made the immense volume of surrenderers possible.
“I am urging all the remaining members of the NPA, their Underground Movement and their supporters to return to the folds of the law and in response, we will do our duty to facilitate them to the mainstream of society and have peaceful lives. In doing so, they would contribute in attaining Peace and Development in Region 3,” Agustin furthered. (PIA-Central Luzon)