MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon, Dec. 30 (PIA)—Nine members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered December 26 on the occasion of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) 52nd founding anniversary.
The rebels who turned over six high-powered firearms and various ammunition operate under Guerilla Front 68 (GF68).
They yielded to the Philippine Army's 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFBn) based in Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon under 403rd Infantry Brigade (403Bde) of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID).
LtCol. Vercisio San Jose, 1SFBn commander in a statement said two of the nine surrenderers—Arnie Capin alias Lee, 24 years old and Etchel Litan alias Langlang, 21—is a couple who both served as mass organizers of GF68.
He bared that Arnie served as CPP-NPA's political instructor, while Etchel as a medical officer.
"The couple shared how they were manipulated and exploited by their top leaders. They have come to a realization that the meaningless guerrilla fighting and deceptive communist recruitment in the mountainous communities have only brought intimidation, violence, and socio-economic despair to the people. With the AFP's peace, development, and security operations in partnership with the government agencies and local government units, we are now starting to reap the fruits of our collective efforts to finally end insurgency," LtCol. San Jose said.
The 1SFBn commander disclosed that during the initial debriefing, the NPA rebel surrenderers narrated their hardships—along with their exploited comrades in the communist underground movement. They openly admitted that the unbearable physical and psychological exhaustion, extreme emotional depression, rampant financial abuse, involvement in extortion, and other illegal activities eventually made them decide to abandon the communist armed struggle and go back to the folds of the true and legitimate government of the Philippines.
Emphasizing the government’s whole-of-nation approach to end insurgency, San Jose urged the remaining NPA rebels in Bukidnon and in all other parts of the country to peacefully surrender.
“For those CPP-NPA terrorists who remain entangled in their twisted violent ideology and terroristic ways; to those who prefer not to heed the government’s call for peaceful surrender, the 1st Special Forces Battalion will be relentless in its operations and we will hunt down the enemy until the last communist terrorist element is prevented from waging violence and intimidation to our peace-loving people,” he said.
BGen. Ferdinand Barandon, meanwhile, said in an interview aired over 13 KBP-accredited radio stations that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) cascaded down to the provincial, city, municipal, and barangay level with the military and police units as components, facilitated the responsive delivery of government services in the remotest communities and this helped a lot in encouraging the disgruntled communist rebels to abandon their violent armed struggle.
“What we see now is the irreversible collapse of the CPP-NPA terror groups in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental and I think this is also happening in other insurgency-affected areas of the country. As the communists celebrate its 52nd founding anniversary of lies, violence, corruption, and exploitation on 26 December 2020, their guerrilla units are breaking down to their ultimate defeat as manifested by the continuous influx of surrenderers in the past years and recent months. These NPA rebels may have finally reached their breaking point as they realize the meaningless fighting and exploitation of their CPP-NPA leaders,” Barandon said. (Inf PA/PIA Bukidnon)
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