Top ranking rebel leader in Ilocos-Cordillera surrenders

BAGUIO CITY — Yet another top-ranking communist movement leader in the Ilocos and Cordillera region surrendered to authorities in Bontoc, Mt. Province capital town on Thursday.

Jacinto Faroden,  allegedly the 1st Deputy Secretary of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army, who took the nom de guerre as “Ka Digbay”,  voluntarily turned himself in to soldiers and policemen after a series of negotiations for over a year,  the Northern Luzon Command said.

Faroden, also the commanding officer of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) BAMPIS (Benguet, Abra-Mt. Province-Ilocos Sur) quad boundary, carries a P5.8 million reward on his capture for various crimes in Mt. Province and other provinces in the Cordillera in connection to his participation in various ambuscades and killings of government forces.

Negotiations for his surrender, the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Brigade said, started as early as March in 2019 by military and police forces stationed in the Cordillera.

Brigadier General Laurence Mina, commander of 5th Infantry Division based in Camp dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela commended the involved troops for their perseverance that led to the eventual surrender of “Ka Digbay”. 

“This significant achievement will surely affect the ICRC leadership specially its members in Ilocos and Cordillera Regions,” the military official said.

Mina also thanked Faroden for his decision to surrender, saying “This brave act of a top ICRC leader is a welcome development and an encouragement to the remaining NPAs to lay down their arm and live in genuine peace.

If a top cadre like Ka Digbay gave up with the organization that he thought could bring social justice and equality for all then why others could not? And so, I enjoin the deceived NPAs to follow the move of Ka Digbay and choose to live in the right path.”

Only last June, Annie Tauli, alleged secretary of the ICRC, also surrendered to National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon in Baguio City. ●