OATH OF ALLEGIANCE. "Michael” and “Gian”, a couple who established a family while on the mountains fighting against the government, recited their oath of allegiance administered by Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, on Monday (Oct. 19, 2020) at Camp Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet. The two surrendered to be able to give their eight-month-old son a better future. (PNA photo by Liza T. Agoot

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet  – Parents will do everything for their children like abandoning a lost cause of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Michael” and his partner “Gian”, who are 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-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), surrendered to authorities on October 15 at Barangay Karikitan, Conner, Apayao.

When they came forward to return to the folds of the law, they did not just bring a long firearm and ammunition and two grenades but also their eight-month-old child, the main reason for their surrender.

In Ilocano, the couple said, “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.”

Michael joined the NPA mid of 2016 while Gian joined in February 2017. They met in the mountains and started a relationship that bore them a son, who eventually became the reason for them to abandon a lost cause.

The two said they want to live a peaceful life with their eight-month-old son.

After their oath of allegiance administered by Philippine National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan on Monday, the couple showed to the general their son.

Cascolan handed to the couple an “envelope” as his assistance to the child.

Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) record shows that from 2018 to October 18, a total of 256 NPAs and their supporters have surrendered to the government.

Out of the number, 92 are Communist New People’s Army Terrorist Group (CTG) members, 139 “Militia ng Bayan” (MB), and 25 supporters.

Around 74 assorted firearms were surrendered to the government.

PNP commitment to villages 

On the sidelines of the presentation of the NPA surrenderers, 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 (we will be very visible in the barangays).”

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 tuloy-tuloy po yan (especially in villages where there are surrenderers to make the people trust us and see that the services of the police do not end when an NPA surrenders but it is a continuing activity). We will continue and sustain our assistance desk,” Cascolan said. (PNA