BALER, Aurora – At least 86 former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and their supporters in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora withdrew their support from the terrorist group and pledged allegiance to the national government in the year 2022.

The withdrawal of support was facilitated by the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion (91IB) whose area of jurisdiction covers this province and three towns of Nueva Ecij -- Bongabon, Gabaldon and Laur.

Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto Jr., commander of the 91IB, said on Monday that the continuous joint efforts of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) and its persistent campaign against terrorism resulted in the realization by the surrenderers of the futility of their armed struggle against the government.

In an interview, Recto emphasized “the whole-of-nation approach to win peace and progress, instead of just defeating the enemy in military combat.”

He said that those who formally cut their ties with the CPP-NPA were former NPA fighters, members of the Militiang Bayan and their supporters.

Likewise, Recto said 13 assorted firearms were turned in by the rebels and eight NPA lairs were discovered in this province alone from January last year to date.

Recto cited the active engagement of the 91IB troops, in partnership with the local government units, in various operational fronts of civil-military operations, disaster relief and rescue operations, anti-illegal logging operations and other activities.

He pointed out that peace is everybody’s concern.

“It’s us, not an issue of you and me alone but everybody was involved. At the end of the day, peace must prevail. We are maintaining it so that the terrorist will not be back in our area of responsibility,” he said.

“Let us build lasting peace by letting no one to be left behind, together with our friends, relatives, and loved ones,” Recto added. (PNA)