Army commander welcomes another NPA surrenderer in Laguna

By Saul Pa-a

July 13, 2018, 8:57 pm

<p>(Official logo of the 2nd Infantry "Jungle Fighter" Division (2ID), Philippine Army)</p>

(Official logo of the 2nd Infantry "Jungle Fighter" Division (2ID), Philippine Army)

CAMP GEN. MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal -- Major Gen. Rhoderick M. Parayno, commander of the 2nd Infantry "Jungle Fighter" Division, Philippine Army welcomed on Friday a member of the outlawed New People’s Army who surrendered to the 1st Infantry ”Always First” Batallion (1IB).

Parayno said the surrender is another indication that members of the communist terrorist group are now abandoning their lost cause and getting back into the society.

“We are hopeful that there will be more NPAs who will surrender, especially that we are pursuing a localized peace negotiation with the communist terrorist group,” Parayno said.

He lauded the efforts of the 1IB against the NPA terrorists in the area, which resulted in another rebel surrenderer at Sitio Patola, Barangay Cansuso in Cavinti, Laguna last Wednesday (July 11).

The 2ID commander said the series of surrenders in the area of Quezon and Laguna were the result of sustained combat operations and community support program of the troops.

“We will assist and link them to the concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs) for them to receive the necessary benefits and assistance from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” he added.

He also acknowledged the support of the LGUs and the cooperation of the residents in the area.

Lt. Col. Jonathan S. Manio, acting Commanding Officer of 1IB, has identified the rebel surrenderer as alias “Oli”, 23, who gave up to authorities due to hardships and starvation while moving from one place to another to evade government troops.

Manio said “Oli” was a member of Platoon 4A1, Sub- Regional Military Area (SRMA) 4D, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC) operating in the hinterlands of Laguna and Quezon.

The NPA surrenderer also turned over his M16 rifle and a bandoleer with magazines and ammunitions.

According to the 2ID, “Oli” narrated to authorities his frustrations and hopelessness over unfulfilled promises by his NPA comrades, such as a good life where he can support his family.

Pero ang mas masakit para sa akin ay nang pinabayaan ako nila noong ako ay masugatan sa isang enkwentro sa Laguna. Kaya napag- isip isip ko na walang patutunguhan ang aking buhay sa pagsama ko sa mga NPA kaya minabuti ko pong sumuko (But what was more painful for me was when they abandoned me when I was injured in an encounter in Laguna. So, I thought that there is no direction in my life in joining the NPA, thus I'd rather surrender),” Oli said.

Oli also said he witnessed that his former rebel comrades, who have surrendered ahead of him, are now back to their normal lives as they engage in better livelihood.

Meanwhile, Capt. Patrick Jay M. Retumban, chief of the 2ID Public Affairs Office, said that the surrendered rebels are placed under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Retumban said that the program provides a former rebel the benefits, such as PHP15,000 in immediate cash assistance; PHP7,000 in reintegration assistance; PHP50,000 livelihood assistance; PHP450,000 for housing; and PHP45,000 to 90,000 for firearms remuneration.

He said that aside from these monetary assistance, the surrendered rebels could also avail of services from government agencies, such as psycho-social debriefing from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); skills training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Conditional Transitional Grant; and college stipend for their children. (PNA)