TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has welcomed the decision of a member of the New People’s Amy (NPA) in Capoocan, Leyte to abandon the armed struggle against the government.
“Arman” (not his real name), 39, yielded before the joint operatives of the PNP’s Provincial Intelligence Unit, Leyte Police Provincial Office, 2nd Leyte Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the 121st Special Action Company on Dec. 10 and was presented to officials of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 8 (Eastern Visayas) in Palo, Leyte on Thursday.
Brig. Gen. Ronaldo de Jesus, PRO-8 Director, said they coordinated with the Army’s 93rd Infantry Battalion and 802nd Infantry Brigade during the conduct of continuous community engagement and information operations.
De Jesus said the former rebel, who handed over a caliber .30 German sniper rifle, left the mass movement in 2009 but remained supportive to the rebel group by housing NPA members.
Arman was involved in several encounters with government troops in 2002, the killing of two police officers and three employees of the Philippine National Oil Company power plant in Ormoc City, the raid of AZNAR ranch in Tabango, Leyte which led to the seizure of firearms, and the killing of three other cops in Villaba town, the PNP said.
“Our sustained persuasion effort is now finally reaping positive results. I have high hopes that more stories leaving nonsensical fight and choosing a peaceful life will soon surface,” de Jesus said in a statement on Friday.
He added the police force will strengthen its coordination with other members of the regional task force to end the local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) to convince more NPA rebels to lay down their arms.
Meanwhile, authorities are now processing the application of the former rebel, so he can avail of benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.
E-CLIP gives former rebels a holistic package of benefits such as livelihood, medical, education, housing, and even legal assistance.
The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)