Surrendered firearm and ammunition by former New People's Army members who yielded to military authorities. (Photo by Jason de Asis)
BALER, Aurora -- Three former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered to the military over the weekend, citing broken promises of a better life by the communist group leaders.
Lt. Colonel Jose Mari F. Torrenueva II, commanding officer of the 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion (91IB), Philippine Army based in Barangay Calabuanan here, said in an interview on Monday that two inactive members of the communist terrorist group surrendered to 84th Infantry “Victorious” Battalion (84IB) in San Jose City and another former rebel yielded to 91IB in Bongabon, all in Nueva Ecija.
Torrenueva said the two rebels who are residents of Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, voluntarily surrendered to Lt. Colonel George M. Bergonia, commanding officer of 84IB, and brought with them one Colt M653 rifle, one Springfield caliber .30 rifle, one magazine and 20 rounds of live ammunition for 5.56mm firearm.
On the other hand, the other surrenderer brought a caliber 7.6mm M14 rifle, one magazine and 380 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition when he sought help from the Community Support Program (CSP) team of the Sinagtala troopers.
Torrenueva said the surrenderees relayed to them the unfulfilled promises of good life by the rebel group leadership as their reason for deciding to rejoin the society.
“Di na nila kaya ang panloloko ng NPA. Sinisira lng nila ang buhay ng ibang tao lalo na ang mga magagandang hangarin ng pamahaalan na wala namin silang ni isang naiambag sa bayan or sa kanyang mamamayan. Kaya napag isip-isip nila mas maganda pa rin makipagtulungan sa gobyerno kaysa sa huwad na pangarap (They could no longer take the deception of the NPAs. They are destroying the lives of other people, especially the good intentions of the government. They have no contribution to the nation and to the citizens. They realized that it is better to cooperate with the government rather than to the rely on fake ambitions),” the 91IB commander said.
Torrenueva said the latest surrenderers will be given security and protection from their former comrades in the rebel group.
“They will also be provided with assistance while their benefits from the government are being processed,” he added.
Major Felimon T. Santos Jr., commander of the 7ID, expressed his delight that the former rebels heeded his call to go back to the fold of the law and be with their families in time for Christmas.
He also commended the units of 7ID for the effective dissemination of information on the E-CLIP, which is evident in the increasing number of surrenderers.
So far, 14 out of the total of 29 NPA surrenderers to the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division have already received financial aid under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
The cash assistance is just one of the many entitlements that a surrenderer will receive upon yielding to the government. Other benefits are livelihood assistance and scholarships for the former rebels' children. (PNA)