Army, LGU engage family of captured NPA leader in peace talks

ILOILO. Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division engages in Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) with family of captured rebel leader Ka Tonying, promoting peace in Tapaz, Capiz.
ILOILO. Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry Division engages in Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) with family of captured rebel leader Ka Tonying, promoting peace in Tapaz, Capiz. (Contributed photo)

THE Philippine Army's 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division joined a Localized Peace Engagement (LPE) with the family of a captured rebel leader in a bid to encourage his surrender and promote peace in the region on July 1, 2024.

The LPE, initiated by the Local Government of Tapaz, Capiz, brought together family members of Ka Tonying, with representatives from the government and former rebels.

Communist New People's Army (NPA) Terrorist (CNT) Ka Tonying, 56, a squad leader for the NPA's Madia-as Dos unit under the Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay (CF, KR-P), was captured in a joint military and police operation on June 25, 2024.

The LPE team comprised Tapaz Mayor Roberto O. Palomar, Department of Justice (DOJ) Prosecutor Lawyer Flosemer Chris I. Gonzales, 3ID officers, Capiz Police Provincial Office (CPPO) led by Police Colonel Jerome Afuyog, and former rebels.

Ka Tonying's family members, including sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters, participated in the dialogue.

During the talks, Ka Tonying's family expressed their appreciation to the government, particularly Palomar, for past assistance they had received.

They highlighted that two of Ka Tonying's children are employed by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tapaz.

"LGU Tapaz offered us help even before my father was caught, and we are thankful for that. We'll try our best to share what we learned today with our family and associates. We will encourage them to join the government's peace programs," Ka Tonying said.

Palomar assured the family of government support and emphasized the importance of communication in resolving the insurgency.

"We are committed to helping you reintegrate into society. Encourage those still in the mountains to avail of the E-CLIP and Amnesty programs. We will help them return to their families and live peacefully," the Mayor said.

Major General Marion R. Sison, 3ID commander, commended Palomar's proactive approach to assisting former rebels and their families.

Sison praised the Mayor of Tapaz for his genuine efforts in ending local armed conflict, highlighting his role as a strong alligator in the pursuit of peace and development in Capiz and Western Visayas.

“I must admit, we cannot end this insurgency problem alone. We need the support of the LGU and, most importantly, the support of the whole of society. With every one of us on the peace table, sooner rather than later, we shall reap the fruits of our labor and realize the dreams of those who came before us. By then, we shall be able to declare the whole island of Panay stable internal peace and security," Sison concluded. (Leo Solinap/SunStar Philippines)

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