MAJOR General Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), has offered Covid-19 vaccines to members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) after seven New People's Army (NPA) rebels were found positive for the virus.
According to Brawner, of the 10 rebels who were captured during the encounter in San Fernando, Bukidnon, three, including a minor, tested positive for coronavirus. They were identified as alias Taburok, a minor; alias Manman; and alias Daniel.
One of the dead rebels, identified as alias Jillian, was also found positive for the virus.
In the encounter in Valencia City, Bukidnon, three captured rebels, two of whom were minors, also tested positive for coronavirus. They were identified as alias Anjie, and minors alias Jayson and alias RK.
The military also found out that the wounded NPA rebel, who was identified as alias Kib, is a Delta variant positive. Alias Kib has already underwent surgical operation on September 11.
"Many in the NPA ranks possibly have Covid-19 as evidenced by the positive test results of the captured and dead CNTs (CPP-NPA Terrorists)," Brawner said.
"Nais ko pong ipaalam sa kanila na wala pong pinipili ang Covid-19, sundalo, kapulisan, mga kawani, simpleng mamamayan at maging mga myembro ng CPP-NPA-NDF ay tinatablan din ng nakakamatay na Covid-19. We are willing to provide Covid-19 vaccines to the CTG if they will decide to abandon the armed struggle and cooperate with us," he added.
Brawner also assured that the rebels who were killed during the two clashes were immediately buried after the RT-PCR test result came out.
The 4ID commander appealed to Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oris and his group to "return to the peaceful path and go down to the mountains" so they can be given Covid-19 vaccines and proper medical treatment.
"Secretary Carlito Galvez of OPAPP has promised that even members of the CTG will be provided with vaccines to demonstrate the government’s sincerity in calling for reconciliation amidst this pandemic that significantly changed our way of life," Brawner said.
"Personal kong ring hinihikayat ang iba pang mga kapatid natin na myembro ng New People’s Army na tuluyan ng bumaba at iwan ang hindi ligtas na kalagayan at maling pakikibaka sa panahon ng pandemya. Ang inyung kasundaluhan ay nangangako na kayo ay mababakunahan kasabay ng pagbabagong buhay na may panatag at ligtas na pamumuhay. As we still await the additional vaccines, the AFP are most willing to share to the CNTs the vaccines intended for our soldiers," he added.