Come home this Christmas, 2ID top brass tells NPAs

By Saul Pa-a

December 22, 2018, 10:45 am

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – A top military brass commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division (2ID) here is appealing to the New People’s Army (NPA) communist terrorist group to give up their armed struggle and come home to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with their families and loved ones in peace, love and joy, even for a lifetime as they return to normal lives.

Major General Rhoderick M. Parayno, Commander of the Army’s 2ID made the appeal to the communist insurgents in his speech before various stakeholders and the media in a fellowship gathering at this camp’s Division Training School early Thursday evening.

“We are banking on the help of our various stakeholders, local government chief executives and the media especially this Christmas Season to help us convince our brothers who got lost to just come back to the folds of the law. Be productive and responsible citizens,” Parayno said.

The 2ID commanding general encouraged the NPAs to come home this Yuletide Season so they could feel how one could really enjoy living in a democratic country where one is free and productive and that one does not have to fear for anything that could happen to them any moment.

“Iba rin kasi yung feeling na umuuwi ka sa inyong bahay, na naroroon ang iyong pamilya, kayakap mo ang iyong mga anak. Kasi, pag nakaramdan ka ng ganyan, you will suddenly realize na ba’t ba ako nagpapakahirap, samantalang pwede naman pala ako mabuhay ng tahimik at produktibo (it’s a different feeling to be at home and be around with your family and hug your children. Because, if you could feel that way, you will suddenly realize why do I have to suffer this way, when I could rather live in peace and be productive),” Parayno said.

He said the return of fellow Filipinos who have lost the cause for their armed struggle against the government could instead help their respective communities at the local level, help the government by starting to first be back in the mainstream and concentrate on their families.

“Kasi pag maganda ang kinalabasan ng management ninyo sa pamilya (because if the management of your respective family could turn out well), then that can easily radiate to the community, to the barangays and even to the towns and local governments,” the 2ID commander added.

He assured that the government, along with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and various government agencies and the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP) stand ready and are hopeful to assist the rebel returnees.

He announced that already the island provinces of Marinduque and Romblon have been declared “insurgency-free” with Batangas province coming next by this month as processes have been undertaken for the rebels' continuing surrenders in recent months.

“In Mindoro alone, we had recorded a total of 89 surrenderees just for two months this November and December. And of this 89, karamihan dito about 70 plus of them are members of the ‘Militia ng Bayan’  na nasa barangay who are full-timers, meaning nag-take oath sila sa NPA. Kapag may offensive na gagawin, sila ay dadaanan, bibigyan ng armas at isinasama sa mga opensiba (many of these around 70 plus of them are members of the militant armed group in the villages who are full-timers, who have taken their oath with the NPA. If there is an offensive to be conducted, these members would be tapped, given arms and be part of the offensives),” Parayno said.

Parayno also said remaining “gray areas” in the hinterlands of Rizal, Laguna and Quezon, as the armed insurgents no longer have strong presence in the urban centers due to combined military and police efforts in cooperation with the LGUs, forcing the NPA comrades to hide in the highlands.

“Nung pinadala natin ang isang batalyon sa Umiray ay mas lalong sumikip ang kanilang mundo kaya bagamat hindi sila nagsurrender sa atin, doon sila sumirender sa 7th Division kasi ang Umiray ay nasa boundary ng 7th Division, area ng Aurora province and North Quezon (when we deployed a battalion in Umiray, their (NPAs) scope has eventually waned until they surrendered instead to the 7th (Infantry) Division as Umiray lies at the boundary of the 7th division, at the jurisdiction of Aurora province next to North Quezon),” Parayno said.

He said the NPAs surrendered in Umiray as it is the most accessible area of the military jurisdiction, an indication that these efforts only prove the armed insurgency has declined in the military and police areas of operation.

Pinakaimportante dito, yung mga encounters namin (The most important point here is that the encounters) since September are all products of information given to us by the civilians. Kung mangagaling sa mga communities ang reports (if the reports came from the communities), we are immediately verifying the information and then we act on the report,” the 2ID commander said. (PNA)