NPA leader surrenders in Davao Oro town

By Che Palicte

July 8, 2020, 6:09 pm

DAVAO CITY – A "political guide" of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB) has revealed the location of a firearms cache in Monkayo town, Davao de Oro province, the 71IB said in a statement Wednesday.

The 71IB identified the surrenderer only as "Dodong", 29, a resident of Barangay Rizal, Monkayo, who worked as a "political guide" for the "weakened" Guerilla Front 20 of the NPA's Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

Dodong, a father of two boys, decided to surrender because he missed his family and wanted to start a decent living, 71IB said.

“It was very hard for me because I was not allowed to go home even though I already missed my family so much,” Dodong was quoted by 71IB as saying.

The NPA, he said, promised him of “Suporta sa Pamilya” (family support), which he later found out to be "a big lie".

“He shared that the NPA convinced him to join the rebellion because the current government is unfair and the laws it enacted favor the rich or influential families. He was further indoctrinated with deceptive ideologies as he underwent courses given by the communist guerilla such as Pambansang Demokratikong Paaralan (PADEPA), Basic Party Course, Intermediate Course, and Batakang Kurso sa Partido Militar. All these courses contain subjects that aim to advance NPA ideologies and beliefs,” the 71IB said.

Upon his surrender, Dodong revealed the location of NPA firearms consisting of two (40mm) M79 grenade launcher, the 71IB said. The recovered firearms have been brought to their headquarters for proper disposition.

As of this writing, Dodong is in the custody of the 71IB undergoing debriefing before enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

Lt. Col. Sonny Gonzales, 71IB commander, said Dodong's surrender was a manifestation that the Army is "continuously winning the hearts and minds of the people even the NPA members themselves".

“Through our sincere effort of facilitating the surrender of former rebels and assisting them to start anew mainstreamed in a peaceful and normal life, more and more of the NPA regulars are encouraged to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law,” Gonzales said. (PNA)