BACOLOD CITY – Three leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) yielded to the military in northern Negros on September 28, the Philippine Army confirmed on Thursday.
Those who voluntarily surrendered were from the NPA’s Northern Negros Front Komiteng Rehiyon - Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor – a male team leader cum finance and logistics officer; a woman who served as a political guide and education staff; and her husband, who was a squad leader.
They were presented on the same day to Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, and Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, at the brigade headquarters in Murcia, Negros Occidental.
“This is a clear manifestation of their trust in the local government and the army in Negros, and a result of our continuing campaign to negate the insurgency that has caused the suffering of Negrenses,” Arevalo said.
“We welcome the courageous decision of the three CPP-NPA members who voluntarily surrendered and realized the importance of being with their loved ones,” Pasaporte said.
The three former rebels also yielded two caliber .45 pistols and subversive documents.
A photo of their meeting with the army officials showed the woman carrying her three-month-old daughter, who is the youngest of their three children.
Lt. Col. J-jay Javines, commanding officer of the 79th Infantry Battalion that facilitated the surrender, said the former CPP-NPA members “affirmed the lies of the communist terrorist group in propagating false ideologies to the people of Negros.”
“They also said the hardships within the NPA units are already unbearable, especially that the support from their masses is declining. I encourage the remaining members of the NPA to surrender and lay down their arms to avail of government programs and start living a meaningful life together with their families and loved ones,” he added.
The three are undergoing custodial debriefing and needs assessment for their enrollment to the E-CLIP or Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
The E-CLIP entitles a former rebel to receive immediate assistance of PHP15,000; livelihood assistance of PHP50,000; firearms remuneration, PHP12,000 to PHP500,000; half-way house assistance; PhilHealth enrollment and medical assistance; education assistance; housing assistance; legal assistance; and healing and reconciliation initiatives.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)