LEADERSHIP abuses, hardships in the mountains, loss of confidence to their "cause" and betrayal of their group were among the reasons cited by two alleged high-ranking officials of the New People's Army in Negros Island to surrender, a report from the Philippine Army said.
The surrenderers were identified as alias "Bruno," a political instructor, and alias "Mary," an educational staff of the defunct Northern Negros Front (NNF), Komiteng Rehiyon (Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor).
They are now in the custody of 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Barangay Bato, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
They were presented to Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Brigade, in a simple ceremony during his visit at 79th IB Headquarters on January 17, 2022.
The two rebels said the remnants of the dismantled NNF are now in quandary and on the verge of collapse with the death of Kerima Lorena Tariman "alias Ella" and Marilyn Badayos "alias Monet" in separate encounters in Silay City and Manapla town in August and October last year, respectively, the military said.
Despite this, the former rebels said their colleagues are pushing the recruitment and recovery efforts especially in the hinterland barangays in the boundaries of Escalante City and municipalities of Toboso and Calatrava.
Similar activities are also being conducted in the far-flung areas of the cities of Silay, Cadiz and Victorias and in the Municipality of E.B. Magalona, they said, adding that as they experienced these sufferings in the mountains, there will be more of their members who will opt to lie low and surrender.
Lieutenant Colonel J-Jay Javines, 79th IB commander, urged the remaining members of the NNF to surrender and lay down their arms.
Javines also told them to avail themselves of the government programs, such as the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) and start living a more meaningful life together with their families and loved ones.
"I also warn the public not to be lured by the propaganda of the NPA. There is no future in joining and supporting their futile cause," he said.
The surrenderers will become members of the Masaligan Former Rebels (FRs) Community for Peace Project where they will undergo the deradicalization program and avail themselves of the benefits, livelihood and economic packages to enable them to start a new life with the mainstream society.
NEGROS. The two former "high-ranking" leaders of the New People's Army who recently returned to the government fold. (Philippine Army)
January 19, 2022
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