By Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1
SAN FERNANDO CITY – Three members of the New People’s Army (NPA), an amazon and two regular rebels, yielded to the Philippine Army after negotiations were made between the authorities and the rebels’ relatives in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur.
Lieutenant Colonel Eugenio Julio C Osias IV, Commander of the Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion based in Barangay Bugbuga, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur, said that the surrender of the three rebels was the result of the government’s initiatives which started in the first quarter this year calling all local NPA rebels to return to the fold of law for peace and development in the countryside.
The amazon surrenderee was identified only as “Ka Lumen,” the medic of the Kilusang Larangang Guerilya (KLG) Montes of the NPA operating in the mountainous areas along the tri-boundaries of the provinces of Abra, Mountain Province, and Ilocos Sur.
The two regular NPA rebel surrenderees were identified as “Ka Ren,” a member of NPA’s SPP South Central, and “Ka Fera,” a member of the NPA’s KLG Montes.
“Their true names were withheld for security reasons pending the processing of their status,” Osias said.
Osias reported that “Ka Lumen” surrendered to authorities with her caliber .45 pistol firearm on January 31, “Ka Ren” with his carbine M1 rifle on February 22, and “Ka Fera” with his US M1 rifle (Garand) firearm on February 24.
“We are now processing the possible benefits to be given to the three NPA surrenderees based on the guidelines of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the national government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Osias said.
In an interview, Osias said that the three former rebels surrendered due to the following reasons: dismay to the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire between them and the government; their leaders who enjoyed the luxurious life abroad while they are suffering in the mountains; and the massive combat operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
With President Duterte’s declaration of all-out war against the CPP-NPA-NDF, Osias quoted one of the rebels who said, “It is better to surrender than to be in an encounter of a worthless fight.”
The other surrenderee said, “We were pressured up there and have difficulty moving because of the presence of soldiers everywhere.”
“Our strong advertisement and publication of CLIP through radio programs and leaflets played an important role in informing them of the government’s sincerity to end the war against CPP-NPA-NDF,” Osias said.
As the amazon said, “When I heard the news over the radio about the CLIP program and that it is real and benefited our former fellow rebels who surrendered, I decided to go down also and surrender.”
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army together with the provincial government and line government agencies of Ilocos Sur, headed by Governor Ryan V. Singson awarded the CLIP benefits amounting to P807,000.00 to the 10 former rebels who surrendered during the third and last quarter of 2016. The awarding rite was held on February 8, 2017, at the provincial capitol. #