NPA SURRENDERERS. National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) director Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo (3rd from left) accepts the firearms from the 37 surrenderers at Hinirang Multi-Purpose Hall in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City on Wednesday (Nov. 23, 2022). The surrenderers received cash assistance and food packs from the NCRPO leadership. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – A total of 37 former members renounced their support to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and pledged allegiance to the government, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said on Thursday.

In a statement, NCRPO chief Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo led the oath and withdrawal of support as part of efforts of government units to support efforts to end local communist armed conflict under Executive Order 70 at the NCRPO Hinirang Multi-Purpose Hall, Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City on Wednesday.

During the event, former rebels shared their stories and experiences as living proof of how CPP-NPA-NDF through their legal fronts are recruiting and inculcating leftist ideologies and ruining the lives of Filipinos, especially the youths.

They also signed a manifesto and received food packs and health kits.

The rebel returnees also underwent an orientation on the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) where they learned about the community-based capacity-building program of the government which aims to improve the socio-economic status of the former rebels.

Estomo believes that the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armes Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has reached more Filipinos who longed for genuine and lasting peace.

"Naniniwala po akong sa ating pagsusumikap at pagtutulungan ay mas madami pang mga miyembro ng CTG ang ating mahihikayat na makapagbagong-buhay at matamasa ang tunay na kapayapaan at katahimikan kasama ang kanilang mga pamilyang kanilang tinalikuran noong sila ay nabulag at naloko ng mga matatamis na salita ng mga makakaliwa (I believe that with our hard work and cooperation, we will encourage more members of CTG to renew their lives and enjoy real peace and tranquility with their families that they abandoned when they were blinded and deceived by the sweet words of leftists),” Estomo said.

Meanwhile, NCRPO deputy director for operations Brig. Gen. Jack Wanky said the return of the former rebels has a great impact on the country.

Kaya sunod-sunod ang naging pag-surrender nitong ating mga former rebels dahil nakikita nila na yung mga unang na-facilitate natin are really truly given help na pangkabuhayan at natutulungan natin sa pagbabagong buhay (Their surrender came one after the other because they saw that the first ones we facilitated are really truly given help for livelihood and we can help them in changing their lives),” Wanky said.

He further encouraged other members to surrender and abandon leftist ideologies.

Ito ang pinakamagandang regalo ninyo ngayong Pasko, ang magbagong buhay dahil nandito naman ang gobyerno na handang tumulong para sa inyo (This is your best gift this Christmas, a new life because the government is here to help you),” he added.

The NTF-ELCAC, created under EO 70 issued on Dec. 4, 2018, is tasked to “provide an efficient mechanism and structure for the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach to aid in the realization of collective aspirations for inclusive and sustainable peace.” (PNA)