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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsFormer NPA medic reunites with family after five years

Former NPA medic reunites with family after five years

By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

The mother of Marilyn, a former New Peoples Army medic who surrendered to the Army’s 65th Infantry Battalion, hugs her tightly while her father sits with them during a tearful reunion after six years of disappearance. Photo courtesty of 65th IB, PA.

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur— A female New Peoples Army (NPA) medic who is the last of their four family members who yielded to the Philipine Army has reunited with her parents and six siblings after six years.

1st Lt. Jade Bryce Buñe, Civil Miliitary Officer of 29th Infantry Battalion(29IB) based in Cabadbaran City, said the NPA medic Marilyn Mandag alias Mica, 23, and her live-in partner Dindo Kusong alias Kalibo voluntarily surrendered to the officials of the 65th Infantry Battalion (6IB) on July 4.

Marilyn is the last member of her family who surrendered to the government. Her parents left the communist guerilla movement and returned to the fold of the law way back on January 16, 2020, and her sister Rudilyn Mandag surrendered last September 18, 2021.

All four of them joined the armed revolutionary movement in 2017 but were assigned to separate units.

Buñe said the Mandags lived in a conflict-affected hinterland village of Mahaba where residents are vulnerable to be easily brainwashed by the communist ideology.

Upon receiving a phone call from their daughter, her parents Roberto and Lisa Mandag requested the 29IB to visit their daughter who is under the protective custody of 65IB.

Buñe said the 6IB had press release on Marilyn and Dindo’s surrender and he made separate one belying the negative propaganda of the NPA rebels saying there will be real change for the former NPA rebels with the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

E-CLIP is a package of cash incentives meant to entice members the NPA to surface, return under the clips of the law, and start a peaceful life anew, together with their respective families.

Buñe quoted Marilyn in a recorded statement as saying: “Nalipay man ko nga nakitan-an nako ang akoang ginikanan, mga igsoon ug mga mahal sa kinabuhi, kay sa katong didto pa mi sa sulod kay wala man mi gihatagan ug katungod nga makatawag sa akoang pamilya ug makita man lang sila kay wala sa amoang doktrina (I am happy when I saw my parents and my siblings since we are not allowed to call not even to see them while in the movement as a prohibition in their doctrine.)

She claimed in her statement that she was duped into believing from their commander Ka Mackoy/Dindo that her mother was already dead and her father was incarcerated in a hog cage when he surrendered.

She was the second eldest among the seven siblings while Rudilyn,28, is the eldest. Their younger siblings are aged 20, 18, 16, 13 and 10.

Marilyn and her partner is now in a protected custody at the camp of 65IB while their documents for application as E-CLIP beneficiaries are still being processed.

Her parents and Rudilyn have earlier availed of the E-CLIP. The father is now active Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA) while Rudilyn is still on training as Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (CAA).

Lt Col. Cresencio C. Gargar, Commanding Officer of the 29IB, has called on the remaining comrades of Marilyn and Dindo to lay down their arms, return to the fold of law and live a peaceful new lives.

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