Over 300 NPAs surrender for Xmas: “We are tired fighting for the wrong side”

MAGPET, North Cotabato— Over 300 NPA members, supporters and members of their Underground Mass Organizations (UGMO) were presented by the 19th Infantry Battalion to Task Force Balik-Loob in two separate ceremonies held at Magpet, North Cotabato on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

A total of three (3) garand rifle with magazine, one (1) home made M14 rifle, 11 home made shot gun, (1) landmine and two (2) pistols were also handed over by the surrenders during the program.

Lt. Col. Ehrlich Noel Paraso, the Battalion Commander of 19IB said the surrenderers are mostly Indigenous Peoples from barangays Bangkal and Kinarum of Magpet town who voluntarily turned themselves in to the military through the Community Support Program (CSP).

“These people, who will now rejoin us in our quest for just and lasting peace in this part of Mindanao were just victims of the promises and blatant lies of the Communist New People’s Army (CNTs) and their allied organizations”, Paraso remarked.

1Lt. Prolen Bonacua, Commanding Officer of Alpha Company, 19IB who facilitated the “Balik-Loob Program” said more or less 300 people who claimed to be former full time members of the NPA and Milisyang Bayan (MB) from the aforesaid barangays have submitted themselves to the unit few weeks ago.

“We decided to hold these ceremonies to make them fully aware about the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). But they will still undergo validation before they are enrolled with the program”, Bonacua said.

Major Aristotle Antonio, representative of Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) discussed the salient features of the E-CLIP and how a would-be beneficiary can avail of its benefits.

Private Institutions were also invited to discuss their programs and services for the former NPA rebels.

Mr. Jonnavey Juan, representative of the Davao City based Endonela Institute of Technology Foundation Incorporated (EITFI) said they have skills training programs in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) that will help them acquire jobs.

On the other hand, Bae Anna Jessa Mae Crisostomo, President of Indigenous Peoples Youth Movement for Peace and Progress (IPYMPP) discussed on plight of the Indigenous Peoples after years of having been under the influence of the New People’s Army.

During the program, local officials of Barangay Kinarum and Bangkal signed separately two resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF (CNN) and its allied organizations as persona non grata in their respective villages.

Last year, President Duterte signed an Executive Order declaring the CNN as terrorists and subsequently warning anyone to be sanctioned according to law if found cuddling or cooperating with the terrorists.

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