REUNITED. “Ka Jayto” (left), a New People’s Army member for 10 years, sees his wife and child again after surrendering to the Philippine Army’s 16th Infantry Battalion under the 402nd Infantry Brigade in Malitbog, Bukidnon on May 18, 2022. His wife and rebel medic, “Renchie”, surrendered six days earlier and facilitated Ka Jayto’s return to the fold of the law. (Photo courtesy of PA 6IB)

MALITBOG, Bukidnon – A New People’s Army (NPA) commander yielded to the 16th Infantry Battalion (16IB) under the 402nd Infantry Brigade in Barangay Kiabo in Malitbog, Bukidnon on May 18, or six days after the surrender of his wife.

Following successive focused military operations and intensified intelligence operations, 26-year-old alias Ka Jayto, commander of the SRSDG EAGLES, Sub-regional  committee 1 of the NPA's Northern Central Mindanao Regional Committee for four years and considered a high-value individual, also yielded to authorities, the 16IB said in a news release on Sunday.

His wife, "Renchie", a medic of the same committee, returned to the fold of the law on May 12 due to post-natal demands, coupled with sleepless nights, fatigue, and extreme hunger.

She has resolved on fostering a nurturing environment to raise her child away from violence, which she said is the only thing the NPA offers.

Renchie convinced Jayto to surrender and coordinated with the 16IB.

Similar to Renchie’s reasons for leaving the armed struggle, Jayto said that his longing to be reunited with his wife and child fueled his courage to leave the mountains.

After being a government enemy for 10 years, he told authorities he has realized the deceptions and propaganda of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The family is currently under the custody of the Army as it undergoes the usual process for returning rebels.

The 16IB is providing initial assistance, such as livelihood aid and skills training, and enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) to enable them to start anew.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PR)