Tuburan town exec Aljun Diamante wipes out insurgency without firing a single shot

Tuburan town exec Aljun Diamante wipes out insurgency without firing a single shot

‘BEAUTY AND THE BEST’: Mayor Aljun Diamante (right) poses with young Fil-German local beauty Angel Ann Riesenbeck who will be representing Tuburan, Cebu in the upcoming Supermodel International Philippines competition. (Photo by Jeriel Asendiente, Tuburan PIO)

“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare” — Sun Tzu

RECOGNIZED for having transformed a rebel-infested town into a peaceful and developed second-class municipality, Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante has aired support for localized peace talks to end the 53-year-old Maoist insurgency.

Sometime in April 2011, Diamante facilitated the peaceful surrender of 21-year-old Dennis dela Cerna Basera, also known as Kumander Orig and James, vice commanding officer of the platoon of Guerilla Front 18 of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Davao Oriental.

Diamante, former president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) – Cebu Chapter, attributed the cause of rebellion to the “injustice and military abuses” which, he said, are now a thing of the past.

Now a second-class municipality which — I believe — will be a city someday with its booming economy under Diamante’s leadership, Tuburan is the largest municipality in Cebu island province in terms of land area. With 54 barangays, it also has the most number of barangays for a municipality in Cebu.

Known for its crystal-clear springs, beaches, creeks, rivers, caves, and natural attractions which awed the Miss Earth candidates in November last year, Tuburan is the hometown of General Arcadio Maxilom who was a Cebuano hero of the Philippine Revolution.

Maxilom was born in Tuburan and worked as a public school teacher but later joined the Katipunan led by León Kilat, born in Negros and whose real name was Pantaleon Villegas.

Villegas earned the moniker “Kilat” which means lightning in English because of his agility and speed.

It can be noted that Leon Kilat’s leadership, the KKK-Cebu uprising was launched on April 3, 1898.

Leon Kilat and the Katipuneros succeeded in forcing the Spaniards to seek refuge at Fort San Pedro and took control of Cebu for a few days.

After Kilat was treacherously killed by his own comrades, Maxilom continued the revolution in Cebu as second in command.

Maxílom is best remembered for stubbornly refusing to surrender to the American forces even as his fellow revolutionaries in Manila and Cebu were starting to collaborate with the new invaders.

No wonder the Tuburanons could have a rebellious DNA as Tuburan became a hotbed during the height of the Marcos dictatorship.

Many Tuburanons reportedly joined the NPA which was founded on March 29, 1969, as the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

CPP founder Jose Maria Sison and former members of the Hukbalahap led by Bernabe Buscayno who formed the NPA have since waged a guerrilla war based on the Maoist strategy of protracted people’s war.

However, Buscayno has reportedly left the NPA “in disillusion” while Sison “comfortably lived” in The Netherlands (even holding “party party” and dancing with beauties like sexy star Ara Mina) since 1987 after he was freed from detention by then President Cory Aquino.

Indeed, nothing is permanent but change.

Tuburan Public Information Officer (PIO) Jeriel Asendiente said there is no more reason for any Tuburanon to take up arms against the government.

He said under Mayor Diamante’s all Tuburanons, including visitors, are well taken care of.

Diamante conducts free medical missions every Tuesday and all 54 barangays are visited and given free medicines.

Some former rebels have also availed of the various livelihood programs of the Diamante administration.

This only shows that there is always hope.

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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