Rebel returnees surrender their arms for a new chance at a better life.
BICOL, Philippines (UPDATED) — A total of 122 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to authorities in Masbate.
They belonged to the rebel units operating in the areas of Sorsogon and Masbate.
They were presented to Secretary of National Defensse Delfin Lorenzana during the ceremonial granting of livelihood assistance to former rebels on Tuesday (October 9) under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the Duterte administration.
“Target namin kasi dito i-improve ang peace and order. Iyan talaga all over. Actually iyon naman ang kanyang utos not only in one province kundi all over the country,” Lorenzana said citing the directive from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Female returnees were given sewing machines while male returnees received welding machines for their start up business.
They will get training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on welding machine skills, small engine operations for males and rug-making for females.
The local government, meanwhile, announced that rebel returnees who are members of the E-CLIP will have their respective housing units by next year.
“If these things will materialize we can achieve peace not only in the province but in the entire country,” said Governor Antonio Kho Jr. of Masbate.
Among the rebel returnees was “Lyn” who had been a member of the NPA for two years.
She recalled how miserable her life was when she started serving the communist group at the young age of 14.
Because she is a natural achiever, she had once been entrusted with the group’s budget.
“Kalimitan po pinagbabawalan at saka pinagduduhan po ang bawa’t isa sa amin,”she said.
“Lyn” said she is now enjoying her new-found freedom though she regrets losing a part of her youth to communist service.
“Dito po nagagawa ko yung nagagawa ko pero po doon hindi po kasi… nagsisi rin ako don kasi hindi ako nakapag-aral,” she lamented.
Temporarily, all 122 rebel returnees are staying in halfway houses located within the compound of the Masbate Provincial Police Office.
Based on national statistics, the Bicol region holds the second largest number of rebel returnees in the country next to Davao province in Mindanao. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Allan Manansala)
96 former NPA rebels in Surigao return to gov’t fold
Former members of the New People’s Army
Around 96 former members of the New People’s Army from Surigao surrendered to the government amid ongoing localized peace talks.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año led the ceremonial turnover of the former rebels’ firearms on Saturday.
The rebel returnees will receive cash and livelihood assistance under the government’s enhanced comprehensive localized integrated program (E-CLIP).
“Sabay-sabay naman yung ginagawa nating localized peace talks at saka yung pagbigay ng e-clip tapos meron din tayong responde sa bawat pangyayari na nagagana. Talagang ganyan, may mga peace spoiler so kailangan natin ay ibang approach dito sa mga peace spoiler. Pero dito sa mga nakahanda nang sumurender ito yung package ng e-clip,” said Año.
Under the Duterte administration, more than 6,000 NPA rebels have surrendered to the government; 800 of them have already received financial aid while the rest are still undergoing validation process.
1 soldier killed in clash with NPA in General Nakar, Quezon
Troops of the 92nd Infantry Battalion conducting combat operations in the hinterlands of Brgy Umiray, General Nakar, Quezon. | Courtesy of PAO
RIZAL, Philippines – The Public Affairs Office of the 2ID Philippine Army in Camp Capinpin released a report Monday (November 5) of the military’s two separate encounters with the New People’s Army (NPA) communist terrorist group on Sunday (November 4) in General Nakar, Quezon.
Members of the 92nd Infantry Battalion (92IB) clashed twice against the enemies in Sitio Dadyangao and Sitio Madaraki both of Barangay Umiray, according to 92IB Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Diaz.
Diaz said the soldiers were conducting Focus Military Operation (FMO) in the area after receiving an intelligence report and tips from civilians that a group of armed NPAs were extorting rice and money from the Dumagat Indigenous People (IP).
The first encounter transpired around 10:40 a.m. when the troops chance upon undetermined number of NPA belonging to Platoon 4A2, Guerilla Front Cesar of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC).
One soldier was killed in the firefight that lasted for 20 minutes.
He was identified as Private James Lanes, 24, from Sultan Kudarat.
Meanwhile, the second encounter occurred an hour later at Sitio Madaraki when the encountered troops conducted pursuit operations following the traces of blood of the retreating enemies.
BGen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., the Commander of the 202nd Brigade who has operational jurisdiction over CALABARZON said that troops were on track against the NPA in the area.
Major General Rhoderick Parayno, the Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division (2ID), meanwhile, extended his condolences to the family of the fallen soldier.
“Rest assured that his bravery and heroism will be treasured and will never be forgotten. His example of sacrifice will continue to inspire us to strive more on our mission of protecting the people against all NPA threats and coercion especially of the Dumagat IP in Quezon,” he said.
The military have now launched hot pursuit operations and checkpoints together with the local police against the NPA terrorists. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Jennica Cruz / 2ID, PA)
Two NPA leaders in Samar surrender to authorities
Two high ranking officials of the New People’s Army
SAMAR, Philippines – Two high ranking officials of the New People’s Army (NPA) recently surrendered to authorities of the 2nd Eastern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Ka Nestor,” a rebel for 15 years, was the commander of the NPA unit operating in Samar and Eastern Samar.
“Ka Joel,” meanwhile was a rebel for almost 10 years and a political instructor under the NPA’s national command prior to his surrender.
The two confessed that they surrendered to be with their families aside from the ordeals they had to suffer while hiding in the mountains.
“Mayroong nagsurrender na aming kasama mula sa bundok, kaya nagplano na rin akong magsurender,” said Ka Nestor.
Ka Joel added, “Gusto na namin ng matahimik, maayos na hanapbuhay ng bawa’t pamilya namin at makasama na namin ang aming pamilya.”
Consequently, the two turned over their respective firearms to include a magazine-fed shotgun, a .45 caliber pistol, a 9mm automatic “llama”, magazines and bullets.
According to Region 8 Police Director Police Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, their surrender could be credited to the ongoing localized peace talks and the government’s intensified counter propaganda against the rebels without using force.
“Kaya nga pinapa-localize ang usapan para hindi yung issue ng Amsterdam ang pinaguusapan, yung issue nung kababayan natin, yung issue ng mga taga Samar, taga Leyte yun ang dalhin natin yun ang pagusapan,” Carlos said.
Authorities are now processing the two returnees’ documents for them to be able to avail the benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
They will be able to receive an immediate financial assistance of P15,000, livelihood assistance of P50,000, PhilHealth assistance, skills development assistance, security assistance, and firearm remuneration. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Archyl Egano)