February 22, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Parents will do everything for their children, like abandoning the cause of the New People’s Army.

“Michael” and partner “Gian,” members of the Komiteng Larangang Gerilya South Ilocos Sur (KLG-SIS) of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) under the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA, surrendered on Oct. 15 at Barangay Karikitan, Conner, Apayao.

When they surrendered, they did not just bring a firearm, ammunition, and two grenades, but also their eight-month-old child, the main reason for surrendering.

“We decided to abandon the armed struggle because of the hardship we experienced in the underground movement, the difficulties of living on the mountains without certainties of life, and the lack of food,” they said.

Michael joined the NPA mid-2016 while Gian joined in February 2017. They met in the mountains and started a relationship that bore them a son.

They said they want to live a peaceful life with their son.

After their oath of allegiance administered by Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan last week, the couple showed their son to Cascolan, who handed an envelope to the couple as his assistance to the child.

Police Regional Office Cordillera records show that from 2018 to Oct. 18, 2020, 256 NPAs and their supporters have surrendered to the government.

Out of the number, 92 are NPA members, 139 Militia ng Bayan, and 25 supporters.

Seventy-four firearms were surrendered to the government.

Cascolan said the PNP is establishing assistance desks per barangay or clustered barangays to make the residents feel the presence of the government.

“We will be going to the barangays for the PNP response teams,” he said. “Doon sa mga barangay, we will be very visible.”

He said they will be particularly present in areas where there are former NPA members who surrendered.

“Especially in villages kung saan may nag-surrender, at least magbibigay tiwala sa atin at makikita nila na ang serbisyo ng pulis, hindi lang ‘yung pag-surrender nila, kundi tuluy-tuloy. We will continue and sustain our assistance desk,” Cascolan said. – PNA