Surrender of ex-NPA rebels in Leyte seals NPA-Bayan Muna partylist ties

Surrender of ex-NPA rebels in Leyte seals NPA-Bayan Muna partylist ties


The formal surrender of a couple aligned with the activism and insurgency in Leyte has further established the ties between the Bayan Muna party-list and the New People’s Army (NPA).

The Philippine Army (PA) on Thursday reported that "Jerry" and "Dalia" (not their real names) walked into the headquarters of the 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, 8th Infantry Division, PA in Barangay Uguis, Mahaplag on August 17 introducing themselves as "former NPA terrorists and as lie-low leaders of the Bayan Muna".

Apparently this was not the first time they contacted the government with the intention to surrender and leave the communist group.

Former rebel couple Jerry and Dalia when they formally yielded to the military on Aug. 17, 2021. Their surrender demonstrated the existing ties between the Bayan Muna party-list and the New People’s Army, the Philippine Army said on Thursday (Aug. 26, 2021). (Photo courtesy of 802nd Infantry (Peerless) Brigade, 8ID, Philippine Army)

"In reality, Jerry and Dalia have long wanted to abandon the violent life of communist terrorism. Having seen enough violence including the infamous Inopacan Massacre in their six-year active involvement with the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front ) from 1986 to 1992," the military said in a statement.

In 1993, the couple with a group of some 200 members and supporters of the NPA yielded to the local officials of Mahaplag, the military statement added.

The two recalled that in 2001, "they were already living a normal life when one Jun Salazar from Inopacan, Leyte, Provincial Coordinator of Bayan Muna, recruited them into the CPP-established party-list."

"Salazar designated Jerry as Bayan Muna municipal coordinator and tasked the couple to organize the farmers and the workers in the area, and to lead them in strikes and anti-government rallies until they went on lie-low in 2004," the military statement said.

"It is part of the NPA doctrine to recruit back former members and those on lie-low status," said Brig. Gen. Zosimo Oliveros, commander of the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade.

"Hence, their formal surrender is very much welcome as it would afford us the golden opportunity to help them. In the advent of Executive Order No. 70, there is now a mechanism that will ensure their effective reintegration into the mainstream of our society," Oliveros added.

EO 70, signed by President R. Duterte in December 2018, institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in obtaining exclusive and sustainable peace-giving the country an effective solution against communist-terrorists.

“I welcomed the formal return to the fold of the law of the couple Jerry and Dalia as it would seal their departure from the communist terrorist group and prevent their recruitment again either in the armed underground movement or the open revolutionary mass movement. Moreover, the revelations of the couple gave credence to allegations on the link between the terrorist CPP-NPA and the Bayan Muna,” the military official said.





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