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

Marje Pelayo   •   November 6, 2019   •   2015

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)

PH gov’t warns public vs providing financial, material support to CPP-NPA-NDF

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government has warned the public against providing money and material support to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

In a statement, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said the CPP-NPA and NDF have been designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) through its Resolution Nos. 12 and 21.

The AMLC warned that under Section 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, any person who provides material support to a terrorist individual or organization, knowing that such individual or organization is committing or planning to commit terrorist acts, is liable as principal and in relation to Sections 4 and 6 of the ATA, shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment.

It also cited Section 8 of Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act (TFPSA), which provides that any person who makes available any property or funds or financial services or other related services to designated persons or organizations shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P1 million.

“Further, Section 11 of the TFPSA authorizes the Anti-Money Laundering Council, upon its own initiative or at the request of the ATC, to freeze property or funds that are related to terrorism financing,” the agency said.

“In effect, the ATC designation makes any person who provides monetary and material support to the CPP-NPA-NDF liable for violations of relevant provisions of the ATA or TFPSA,” it added.

Over the years, the Communist Terrorist Group has engaged in terrorism financing.

According to a former ranking NPA member, fees collected from political candidates are pro-rated based on the sought position.

The AMLC said that recovered CPP-NPA documents, statements of former NPA members, and other reliable sources reveal that communist terrorists raise and collect funds through extortion/taxation, including election fees, such as “permits to campaign/win” from politicians.

Other regular and major sources of funds are mining companies, telephone companies, construction firms, and other businesses, including project funds from abroad. These funds amount to billions of pesos, where 60% goes to the CPP Central Committee and 40% remains with the regional units for their terrorist operations.

Apart from money, communist terrorists also receive firearms, combat boots, uniforms, and technical equipment/gadgets.

Prior to the ATC designation, the CPP-NPA has been designated as terrorist organizations by other countries and jurisdictions, including the United States, European Union, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

“Putting an end to the local communist movement entails cutting off their sources of funding and other means of support,” AMLC said.

“Thus, the public must immediately report any coercive or illegal fund collection by the communist terrorists as these terrorism financing activities sustain the violent agenda of the CPP-NPA-NDF that disregards not only our country’s laws but also human life, public safety, and right over property,” it added.

Military, police uncover NPA arms cache in Masbate

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Government troops have seized a bulk of war materiel in Masbate province as they continue to hunt down New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists.

On Monday (September 20), government authorities received information from residents in Aroroy about the suspicious materials left behind by the communist rebels in their area.

Responding to the tip-off, elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) immediately verified the report.

The troops were able to capture the following:
– one M16 rifle;
– two magazines;
– assorted ammunition;
– one plastic bag containing ammonium nitrate which is the primary component in making anti-personnel mines;
– a dynamite;
– one roll of detonating cord.

There were also some personal belongings along with the said arms haul.

Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB, hailed the vigilance of the Masbateños for the discovery of the war materiel. The public cooperation just proves that the NPA can no longer hide even their firearms.

Meanwhile, Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, said the capture of these firearms is a manifestation of the continuously deteriorating capabilities of the terrorist group especially in the province of Masbate.

“Iniiwan na lang nila ang mga armas nila kasi wala ng magbibitbit dahil kulang na ang kanilang mga miyembro gawa ng sunod-sunod na mass surrender sa Masbate. Muli naming pinapaalalahanan ang naiiwan pang mga miyembro ng komunistang terorista upang sila ay sumuko at magbagong buhay,” Almase said.

Police BGen. Jonnel Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5), commended the public’s support which makes the campaign of the government to make Masbate armed conflict-free attainable.

“Hindi po namin makakamit ang sunod-sunod na tagumpay na ito kung wala ang suporta ninyong mga Bicolano,” PBGen. Estomo concluded.

9 NPA members in Misamis Oriental surrender to the Philippine Army

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 23, 2021

A former NPA member leads the military to a stash or firearms.

Nine members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Misamis Oriental have surrendered to the Philippine Army.

The former rebels were members of the sub-regional committee of the NPA in North Central Mindanao Regional Command. They also surrendered 14 high-caliber firearms.

One of the rebel returnees, identified as alias Marga, said that lack of food pushed them to surrender to the government. She said there were times when 40 members had to share one can of sardines. They were also forbidden to visit their families.

Magpapaalam ka nang maayos, hindi ka papayagan. Kaya iyong iba naming kasama kadalasan talaga umuuwi nang hindi nagpapaalam dahil sa ganyang kalagayan, hindi ka papayagan. Wala kang kalayaan o demokrasya, (You will not be allowed to go home even if you asked properly. Because of it, some would just leave without permission. There is no freedom or democracy),” she said.

According to Lt.Col. Ricky Canatoy, commanding officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion, the combined efforts of the Philippine Army and the government contributed to the increasing number of returning rebels.

“Military action alone will not be enough to achieve or maintain long-term peace; engagement from line agencies, notably from local government units, is essential. Because of the close linkages among government agencies, hostile manpower and firearms have been steadily reduced,” he said.

The rebel surrenderers will receive financial and livelihood assistance under the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.

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