300 NPA's surrender to govt troops in N.Cotabato

300 NPA's surrender to govt troops in N.Cotabato

They wanted a different meaningful life, different from their rebellious past.

Around 300 communist rebels along with their mass base supporters surrendered and pledged allegiance to the Philippine flag during separate events in the villages of Kinarum and Bangkal in Magpet, North Cotabato, the past two days.

Two separate surrender rites were conducted on Friday and Saturday for 300 men, composed of farmers and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and members of Unit Militia, the unarmed NPA mass base said Lt. Col. Ehrlich Noel Paraso, commander of the army’s 19th Infantry Battalion (IB).

NPA surrendering to government troops (photo credit to owner)

It was the Unit Militia act off tipping off the military that paved the way for their denouncing the acts of forced taxation and renouncing the NPA.

“We are being used as milking cows by the NPAs,” a farmer of Barangay Kinarum. “At first they were good to us, providing us aid in farming but later they started demanding money and agricultural products.”

In a separate interview with Ka Ben, one of the NPAs operating in the slope of Mt. Apo said for 15 years, told mediamen that he decided to surrender because of empty promises.

“Tam-is kayo sila og promise sa amo (They have sweet words for us) but later they were using us to raise money through extortion against multi-national companies like a banana plantation and business establishments in Magpet and in Kidapawan City,” Ka Ben said.

The  military has stated that all surrrenderees will be accommodated by government through its “Balik Loob” Program.

Currently the government authorities are processing their papers so they can qualify for the  Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

The E-CLIP aims to reintegrate the rebels to mainstream society by providing them livelihood in exchange for their surrendered firearms. Local officials of Barangays Bangkal and Kinarum, both of Magpet, also passed two resolutions declaring communist rebels and militant organizations as “persona non grata” in their respective areas.

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Report from PNA

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