BALER, Aurora – A former political guide of the New People’s Army’s (NPA) Domingo Erlano Command operating in the northern part of this province has voluntarily surrendered to government troops on Wednesday.
In an interview Thursday, Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of 91st Infantry Battalion (91IB), said joint elements of the Charlie Company, 91IB, 7th Infantry Division (7ID), and San Luis Municipal Police Station facilitated the surrender of 41-year-old “Ka JM”, a resident of Barangay Buhangin, this town.
Rubio said Ka JM likewise turned over his .22 caliber handgun with six ammunition to the government soldiers.
He said the surrender is a clear manifestation of the communist terrorist group (CTG) member’s resolve in abandoning the armed struggle.
“Ka JM was just used by the CTGs to recruit innocent civilians and generate funds to support the underground movement. We are appealing to those still active Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to return to the folds of the law and be reunited with their loved ones,” Rubio said.
He also assured the surrenderer that he would be given financial support, legal assistance, and a livelihood package as part of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Rubio said the former CTG member revealed the hardships, abuses, and corruption he experienced inside the terrorist organization.
“This is the outcome of right information provided to the people of Aurora, together with hand-in-hand collaboration with civil authorities. What we have gained now is the result of the Whole-of-Nation Approach of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC),” he noted.
Meanwhile, Col. Julio S. Lizardo, provincial director of the Aurora Police Provincial Office (APPO), said the increasing number of rebels and supporters who have surrendered demonstrates the efficacy of the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.
He encouraged the public to work closely with the government by reporting any information on NPA movements in their communities to address the decades-long insurgency problem in the province.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)