One hundred members and supporters of the New People’s Army in the Cordillera have surrendered to authorities from January to September.
Forty-five of the surrenderees are active members of the NPA while 55 are members of the militia ng bayan or those providing support to the rebel group, data from the Police Regional Office Cordillera showed.
Most of the surrenderees are supporters of the Kilusang Larangang Guerilla (KLG) under the group of Ka Marco that operates in Mountain Province, the towns of Alfonso Lista and Aguinaldo in Ifugao; and KLG North Abra that operates in Boliney, Daguioman, Bucloc, Sallapadan, Malibcong, Lacub, Tineg and Baay-Licuan in Abra, said PRO-Cor Information Officer Maj. Carol Lacuata.
Lacuata said 69 individuals surrendered in 2018 and there were 72 surrenderees in 2019.
“The number of surrenderees continues to increase after realizing they have been fighting without cause but have only been causing agitation to their families and communities. Most of them confessed they continuously experienced hardships, hunger, exhaustion, false promises and various forms of deception while with the NPA,” Lacuata said.
She said another factor in the increase in the number of surrenderees is the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government, a livelihood assistance package to help former rebels and supporters reintegrate to the community, be with their families, and start over with their new, normal lives.
The massive information campaign and tactical operations conducted by operating elements of PRO-Cor and Armed Forces of the Philippines also helped in their surrender.
PRO-Cor Director B/Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan said the united efforts of the operatives and the local government units under the Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict led to the surrender of NPA members and its supporters.
He welcomed the surrenderees, assuring them they have made a wise choice and further appealed to others who are still in the mountains to come down and legitimize their cause. – Ofelia C. Empian