DEL PILAR, Cabadbaran City- Two (2) NPA rebels voluntarily surrendered on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at Headquarters 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion located at P4, Barangay Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte.
The said returnees, known as alias @Roy, 24 yrs old and alias @Rey, 23 yrs old both married and residents of Brgy. Maraiging, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte, an active member of Sangay Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 16A, Guerilla Front (GF) 16 of North Eastern Mindanao Command (NEMRC) under Samuel Batican alias @Popo, took the courage to surrender to Lt. Col. Jason M Saldua, the Commanding Officer of 29IB bringing along with them two (2) AK47 with defaced serial number, two (2) bandoliers, and seven (7) magazines loaded with ammunition.
According to them, they wanted to return to the government after having a miserable and desperate life with the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs). A life exactly opposite to what the CNTs have promised them.
They added that they felt the longingness of their families being away from them that resulted to extreme loneliness which further added to their motivation to surrender and be with mainstream society.
They said that CNT members have scarcer supplies, fewer food , and are deprived of sleep which resulted in extreme hunger and fatigue causing them to run away from their group and surrender. Also, they said that they could feel that the CNTs were struggling from gaining supports from the community even from the place where they came from.
According to alias @Roy, “Grabe kakapoy among kaagi sa bukid, walay tarong tulog og walay tarong nga kaon og grabe katugnaw. Na bati og nabalaka pud mi sa among pamilya”.
Lt. Col Jason M Saldua boldly said, “I know that the CNTs are now miserably looking for their way out. They have nowhere to go because of the continuous tactical operations conducted by the unit and the establishment of the Forward Operational Bases (FOBs) in the area of operation which blockaded the CNTs’ supply and mobility routes that resulted to a great shortage of foods and other supplies for their members.”
According to Lt.Col Saldua, the surrendered CNTs will be enrolled to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP and they will receive financial and other assistance from the government.
It can be recalled that 17 former rebels who had have returned to the fold of the law and mainstream society in the province of Agusan del Norte were already recipients of the housing assistance from the government through E-CLIP and the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or PTF-ELCAC.
“We will continue to pursue this weakening enemy, we will not stop until they decide to surrender their arms and return to the folds of the law,” Lt.Col Saldua added.