by Jan Albert K. Araña
MISAMIS ORIENTAL (PIA)–Some members of the Communist Terrorist Group-New People’s Army (CTG-NPA) surrendered to the 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion (58IB) in line with the government’s whole-of-nation approach to ending local communist armed conflict, January 24.
The series of operations conducted by the battalion last October in Gingoog City resulted in the successful surrender of the rebel members. The eight members of the CTG-NPA who surrendered are members of the rebel groups under Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 1, three of which are from DGF Huawei, three from Platoon Falcon, while the other two, a husband and wife, came from SRC 2.
According to Nino Sereno alias Hatam, a former rebel, they decided to surrender because of the hardships they experienced, such as hunger and the fear for their lives due to the successive military operations. The programs in Executive Order No. 70 also enticed them to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.
“Nakita nako ang pagtabang sa 58th IB [sa mga nagsurrender] mao nakadesisyon ko nga mubalik sa sabakan sa gobyerno,” Sereno shared.
(I have seen the assistance of the 58th IB [to the surrenderers], which is why I have decided to return to the fold of the law)
To help the former rebels start their new lives, they have received initial cash assistance of P5,000 from the Misamis Oriental Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and another P5,000 from the Office of the Misamis Oriental 1st District Representative, Christian Unabia.
The rebels will get help from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in the amount of P5,000, P50,000 in projects to help them make a living, an extra P10,000 in cash aid, and a re-enumeration of their firearms depending on how they are classified.
According to 58IB Commanding Officer Christian Uy, before the former rebels receive assistance, an AFP and PNP validation process will be carried out.
“Ang gobyerno sinsero sa mga taong gusto mubalik sa sabakan sa gobyerno. But kung sila magpabilin jud sa kabukiran, in time na lang nga mapuk-an ilahang grupo; so they might as well [surrender mintras] naa pa’y panahon nga ihatag aron mauban ilahang pamilya. Mas maayo munaog na lang sila aron matabangan sila sa atoang gobyerno,” Uy said.
(The government is sincere with the people who want to return to the bosom of the government. But if they stay in the mountains, the time will come that their group will fall; so, they might as well surrender while there is still time for them to be with their families, everyone will be united, it is better for them to come down so that our government can help them)
The 58IB pledged to continue its mandate of pushing back the CTG-NPAs and keeping the province safe, however, the battalion would like to prevent any further bloodshed among the rebel group and military and encourages the rebel members to surrender peacefully and avail of the programs offered for them by the government. (JAKA/PIA-10/Misamis Oriental)