September 30, 2023

Wanting to clear their names and have a better future, more New People’s Army (NPA) supporters are yielding to the government and now receiving aid to start a new life.

Capt. Marnie Abellanida, Police Regional Office-Cordillera Information Officer, said 12 Militia ng Bayan (MB) members have surrendered with their firearms to the police in Abra on June 22.

He said those who surrendered were identified as alias “Edmar”, 54; “Solo”, 38; “Mandag” 60; “Yaos/Sadem”, 58; “Melvin”, 38; “Bagwis”, 42; “Joker/Lindol”, 38; “Joker”, 42; “Yoyong”, 63; “Ranes”, 35; “Soli”, 54; and “Wanti”, 46.

Abellanida said the surrenderers were identified as supporters of the Agustin Begnalen Command and Antonio Licawen Command of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) North Abra and KLG Abra, Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur (AMPIS) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

He said the returnees decided to lay down their arms after series of negotiations initiated by the joint operatives from the Regional Intelligence Division (RID), Regional Mobile Force Battalion 15 (RMFB 15), and Abra Provincial Police Office.

He said the returnees also handed over two M16 rifles with two magazines, two .45 caliber pistols with seven bullets, M2 Carbine rifle with serial number 693511 together with one magazine, M1 carbine with one magazine, improvised 7.62 bolt action rifle, STI EDGE caliber .45 pistol with one magazine and four bullets, Smith and Wesson .357 magnum revolver with five bullets, one caliber .45 pistol, one rifle grenade, and improvised 5.56 rifle with one magazine and three bullets.

He said the surrenderers are in the custody of the PNP for evaluation, documentation, and processing of their assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

He said under the ECLIP, a surrenderer is entitled to immediate assistance, firearms remuneration, and other government aids that will enable the person to have a much better life compared to one in support of the terrorist movement.

Former rebels who previously surrendered in Abra received immediate cash assistance worth P2,000 each and grocery packs on June 22 in Manabo, Abra.

Abellanida said each received their immediate assistance amounting to P74,000.

The turn-over was witnessed by Manabo Mayor Joana Dumasing and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office Myrna Bersalona.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, together with its armed wing the NPA, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. – PNA