Ex-rebels testify before Senate on leftist group recruitment for NPA membership

Maris Federez   •   August 14, 2019   •   1050

Former Communist rebels testify at the Senate hearing

Four former rebels faced the Senate on Wednesday (Aug. 14) to testify on the recruitment activities of leftist groups for membership to the New Peoples Army (NPA).

One of them, Agnes Reano, relayed how she got recruited by the Alliance of Students Against Tuition Fee Increase.

She said, in 1983, she was brought to Bukidnon province for the launching of the League of Filipino Students until she had become a recruiter herself at the age of 13.

She added that she had later on realized that, like the other rebels, she had been carrying arms and had become a member of the NPA.

Nancy Gulogin, another ex-rebel, was then an athlete in school when she became an activist.

She claimed being brainwashed by a legal front until she became a member of the NPA. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

6 soldiers killed in clash with NPA rebels in Eastern Samar

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Six soldiers were killed and at least 20 others were injured in a clash between the government troops and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on Monday.

Initial police report indicated that three platoons of the 14th Infantry Battalion encountered around 50 NPA members at Sitio Bangon in Barangay Pinana-an at around 5 p.m.

The firefight lasted for about 30 minutes.

The report also stated that six improvised explosive devices simultaneously went off before the encounter.

The names of the soldiers killed and wounded in the battle have been withheld as their families are not yet informed of the incident.

One rebel, who is yet to be identified, was said to have been killed while an undetermined number was wounded in the gunfight, authorities said.

Young NPA fighter thankful for being saved by the ‘enemy’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Rebel combatant alias ‘Kent’ was lost for words over his experience in the hands of his “enemies” – the soldiers of the 29th Infantry Battalion – after an encounter in San Isidro, Santiago, Agusan del Norte.

‘Kent’ sustained three gunshot wounds during the crossfire on November 2.

The soldiers captured him as he could no longer walk due to his injury.

He thought that was the end for him.

“Naka-set na sa isip ko na papatayin ako talaga kasi susuko (I set my mind that I would be killed if I surrender),” he said in his local dialect.

“Ang sabi nila kapag may giyera, papatayin ka kapag nahuli ka ng Army (They say in war, you will be killed if the Army captures you),” he added.

But to his surprise, the soldiers brought him to a nearby hospital and while gasping for air, he heard the soldiers telling him to hold on and try to survive.

The young NPA fighter is now recovering from his wound while the military is working on the possible assistance he may receive once he officially decommissions from the rebel group.

“Ang una nating ginagawa ngayon ay maka recover muna siya (What we are focusing on first is his recovery),” said Maj. Francisco Garelllo, the spokesperson of the 402 Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army who handles the case of alias Kent.

‘Kent’ was recruited to the New People’s Army (NPA) when he was only 16 years old.

He realized he spent his two years fighting for the wrong side.

He said he has decided to return to the government and start a new life with his family.

 “Sinasabi naman nila sa akin na, ‘Dapat mabuhay ka kasi sisikapin naming mabuhay ka,’” Kent said of the soldiers who rescued him.

“Kaya pinilit ko ring maka-survive,” he concluded. – MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)

Philippine Army to recruit more soldiers this year

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Army is eyeing to recruit more soldiers this year amid the intensified campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to end local armed conflict and terrorism.

The Philippine Army said it will recruit additional members to augment troops and help meet the government’s deadline to end terrorism and expand its nation-building efforts.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the military to eradicate terrorism and insurgency in the country before his term ends in 2022.

The recruitment also aims to further strengthen the Army force against internal and external threats while promoting nationalism among the Filipinos.

“Anyone who wants to serve our people is welcome to join as long as the Philippine Army’s qualifications are met. Qualified applicants will receive the same benefits during training and when they become part of the regular force,” Army Spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.

The minimum requirement for a candidate soldier is that he or she must be 18 to 30 years old, a natural-born Filipino citizen, single, without a child, and is 5 feet to 6 feet and 4 inches tall.

An aspiring applicant must also pass the Armed Forces of the Philippines Service Aptitude Test, Physical and Medical Examinations, and Physical Fitness Test.

Interested applicants may visit the Army recruitment centers in Cagayan de Oro City, Cebu City, and Taguig City.

Applicants may also visit the nearest Army base in their localities for inquiries.

Zagala said the newly opened slots are allotted for both aspiring officers and enlisted personnel. The number of additional personnel to be recruited is on top of the 5,300 quota announced this year.

“We call on the best and the brightest to take this opportunity to be part of our nation-building efforts by serving the people and securing the land,” added Zagala.

Visit this link for more information on Army Recruitment centers.

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