BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Two dismayed members of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist group who previously held the positions of team leaders of the movement voluntarily surrendered to the troopers of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion in separate occasions on September 28 and 29, 2020 at the battalion’s headquarters in Jamboree Site, Purok 6, Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.
The two disgruntled CNT leaders were identified as alias FREDIE/ERWEN and JAY-R/BADOY/BEBS. Alias FREDIE/ERWEN, thirty-nine a team leader of Squad Dos, Sentro de Grabidad CAOCAO, Guerrilla Front 4A of the North Central Mindanao Committee and a resident of Purok Lumbia, Barangay Poblacion, Carmen, Agusan del Norte while alias JAY-R/BADOY/BEBS, twenty-four, is also a the team leader of Squad Dos, SDG CAOCAO, GF-4A, NCMRC who is a resident of Purok 8, Barangay Lower Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.
Alias FREDIE/ERWEN turned over to the 23rd IB one MK-2 fragmentation hand grenade.
In his testimony, alias FREDIE/ERWEN narrated the difficult experiences he had while inside the movement that pushed him to abandon the terrorist group.
“Sa una malipayon man ang among pagpuyo bisan tood taliwala sa among ka pobrehon. Nagtoo sab ko nga insakto ang ilang mga saad sa ako nga tabangan ko nila nga mahaw-as sa kalisod kay lagi kuno hapit na maangkon sa walhong grupo ang kadaugan. Giantos nako ang kakapoy ug kagutom inubanan sa dakong pagtoo nga magmalampuson kami sa among mga plano. Apan nakita nako ang dakong kapildihan ug gani, daghan na sa among mga kakaubanan ang nakabsan sa kinabuhi human sa mga nahitabong engkwentro tali sa kasundaluhan ug daghan na usab ang mibalik na sa sabakan sa balaod. Wala na usab bili kung magpabilin pa ko sa armadong kalihukan kay wala man gyod koy nakita nga nagpakabana sa amo ang among mga lideres,” alias FREDIE/ERWEN said.
Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the Acting Commander of 23IB said the battalion is always open to welcome and help every member of the CNT group who wishes to live normally and peacefully.
“More CNT members are now coming back to the folds of the government because they never understood the kind of life they had inside the said movement,” Paulo said.
He also expressed gladness to the decision made by the two CNT team leaders, saying that the armed movement will never help them but instead, pull them down to miserable lives.
“With a strong belief, they joined the armed group believing that they will be given better lives but in contrast, they were only being enslaved by their leaders and they are forced to follow orders without having any repay to their prostration,” Paulo said.
He added that inside the fifty-one years of CNT existence, the Filipino people have not seen a single member of the group who testified that they now live a luxurious and comfortable life after joining the communist movement.
“Their lives were ruined. They lost the peace of mind and become violent because their leaders do not know how to look for the efforts, hardships and social welfare of their members,” Paulo said.
In the last fifty-one years, Paulo said that it is only the CNT leaders who benefited from the movement as can be seen in the status of their families, the properties they own, the education of their children, and the abundance their families who all reside in urban centers.