Former NPA rebels join march for peace in Davao Norte

By Rhoda Grace Saron

March 28, 2018, 8:50 pm

DAVAO CITY -- More than 7,000 former fighters, local militia members, supporters and sympathizers of the underground mass organizations of the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) joined the Mindanao-wide peace rally held Tuesday in different places in Davao Region.

Captain Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said of those who came for the march for peace, about 3,000 were from Mati City, 1,906 from Tagum City, 1000 from Compostela Province, 700 from Davao City, 700 from South Cotabato, and 362 from Banay-Banay town, Davao Oriental.

They joined various people’s organizations in Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, and South Cotabato gathered in different places of convergence at the Rotary Plaza in Tagum City, Davao Oriental Capitol in Mati City, Town Center in Compostela, Rizal Park in Davao City and the Town Center in Surallah South Cotabato.

The rally was also attended by religious leaders governors, mayors and different tribal leaders.

During the rally, selected former NPA leaders shared their sufferings under armed communist movement and their current experience with the government’s sincerity to help them achieve peace and development.

They also encouraged their former comrades to go back to the folds of law and live with their families that they have abandoned for a long time.

Major General Noel S Clement, Commander of the 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, commended the former rebels for their courage and bravery in coming down and embracing peace and to become partners of the government.

"We have come here for one common goal, to show the rest of the world that we are for peace. The initiative of our partner peace advocates, wherein some of them were identified former rebels make it happened today,” he said.

In three months, Clement said the military collectively achieved remarkable scores that translate not only military achievements but “our accomplishments” emphasizing on peace and development efforts of Local Government Units and Agencies, People’s Organization and all stakeholders.

Under 10th Infantry Division, Clement noted 33 encounters that yielded 56 firearms; 10 NPA members killed; 63 IEDs recovered; 48 enemy encampment discovered; 90 firearms surrendered by NPA supporters; 27 NPA members captured to include a barangay chairman who possessed firearms from NPAs.

The 10th ID reported that the surrender of regular NPA members already reached 238 and 3,721 members of Underground Mass Organization, Milisyang Bayan, Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad, NPA Mass Supporters and, 10 left-leaning organization members.

“Let us make sure that no one among (you) the surrenderers will go back and support the CPP-NPA terrorist group," Clement said. (Rhoda Grace Saron/PNA)