June 23, 2024

Two former members of the militia ng bayan of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) have surrendered in Benguet.

The turnover ceremony at the provincial Capitol on May 26 was witnessed by Gov. Melchor Diclas, Benguet Police Provincial Office Director Col. Reynaldo Pasiwen, Benguet 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company commander Lt./Col. Benson Macliing, and Department of the Interior Local Government-Benguet LGOO Jonilou Sahoy.  

The former rebels, who were members of the Kilusang Larangan Gerilya-North Abra-Agustin Begnalen Command, surrendered their firearms, ammunition, and several explosive devices to the police. 

As militia ng bayan members, they were tasked to support the rebel group in aiding supplies and providing information to NPA members.

The Benguet PPO said the rebel returnees were convinced by their relatives and other former NPA members who earlier surrendered and have availed of the government rebel returnee support. 

The successful negotiation was through the “Dumanon Makitungtong” program of the Philippine National Police enjoining the former rebels to get back to society.

The returnees, who trace their roots to Abra, are working as miners in Benguet.

Diclas thanked the former rebels for laying down their weapons and returning to the folds of the law.

He also encouraged other individuals to surrender and go back to the mainstream society and avail of the support being provided by the government.

The province gave the surrenderees basic food assistance while the DILG will process their reintegration assistance.

Also, the returnees will undergo the remuneration for their turned-over firearms and explosive devices and other benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or Eclip.

Earlier, three other former militia ng bayan members also surrendered in the province through the Benguet PPO. – Ofelia C. Empian