AGUSAN DEL NORTE- On September 24 and 27, 2020 at Brgy. Mahayahay, Brgy. Sangay, Kitcharao and Brgy. Curva, Santiago, Agusan del Norte, another one hundred seventy-six (176) Underground Mass Organizations Members (UGMOs) took an oath to withdraw their support from the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) and its affiliated organizations.
The event is pursuant to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 to attain inclusive and sustainable peace and to institutionalize the Whole-of-the-nation approach towards Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC). This government program gives NPAs the chance to surrender to the folds of the government so that they can experience peace in mainstream life.
This program is the reason why UGMOs pledged their cooperation and support to the government. They were assisted by troops of the 29th Infantry Battalion, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the local government council of Agusan del Norte. The said event culminated in the burning of the NPA’s flag, which symbolized the withdrawal of the people’s support from and denunciation of the said terrorist group.
According to Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding Officer of 29IB, “Let us not hesitate to work with our government to make our lives better. To all NPAs, surrender and return to the folds of the government, live comfortably and let us end this war together. The 29th Infantry Battalion is steadfast in helping our government to attain the peace that we all desire. Even during this pandemic, we will continue to fulfill our core mission in protecting you- our fellow Filipino citizen and securing our land.”