THE secretary of the Communist Party of Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) Guerrilla Front 6 or Bukidnon Command said last Thursday, January 16, that there were several underaged persons in the province recruited by members of the communist rebels.
According to Resylyn Pardo also known as Jamby, among the rebels who voluntarily surrendered and returned to the fold of the law, the said minors under the Guerilla Front 6 are not yet regular members of the rebel group.
“Naay mga underage nga batan-on. Ang kalainan lang kay wala namo giila nga mga regular nga NPA,” Pardo said.
(There are underaged youngsters. The difference only is that we don’t recognize them as regular NPA.)
“Pero naa gyud sulod sa organisasyon, apil sa amoa, magkuyog-kuyog sa amoa. Ang kalainan lang regular ug dikit,” she added.
(But they really are involved in the organization, including us, they’re joining us. The difference is regular involvement.)
Guerilla Front 6 is the New People’s Army (NPA) political organization that radicalized and turned militants the residents of six towns and a city in southern Bukidnon, namely Valencia City, San Fernando, Kitaotao, Maramag, Don Carlos, Dangcagan, and Quezon.
Pardo is among the seven former rebels who were present during the press conference on localized peace initiative last Thursday. Also one of them is her husband, Renante Tumbalang also known as Jigger or War, the commander of the Guerilla Front 6’s Front Operational Command.
According to them, they decided to voluntarily surrender after their organization lost the sympathy of the local populace and the tribes which significantly affected their morale.
“The death of Commander Amana during a major encounter with the Army was very demoralizing,” Tumbalang said.
“Hindi kami nakapag gawaing-masa at gawaing militar. Natigil ang KalMas (kalihokang masa) pati ang ArPak (armadong pakigbisog) dahil nauubos ang aming organisadong masa at mga sanga ng partido sa lokal. Nag focus kami sa recovery pero hindi namin magawa dahil ayaw na kaming tulungan ng mga tao sa barrio,” Pardo said.
(We aren’t able to do civic and military activities. KalMas stopped and also ArPak because our organization and local factions lessened. We focused in recovery but we can’t do it because the barrio people do not want to help us.)
They added that the loss of mass base constricted them in the mountains as they were unable to disperse forces, making them vulnerable to non-stop offensive operations of the government troops.