CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-At the height of the CPP’s 51st Founding Anniversary, at least three hundred NPA, Militia ng Bayan (MB) members, Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) officers and members and supporters surrendered in Masbate province this Thursday, December 26.

A total of 306 mass surrenderers composed of 47 regular NPA members, 150 Milisyang Bayan (MB) members, 51 Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) officers and members and 58 supporters turned themselves in to the uniformed units of the government.

The group also surrendered forty-nine (49) different firearms which includes: six (6) M16 rifles, one (1) carbine, two (2) KG9 sub-machine guns, one (1) ingram pistol, one (1) homemade garand, ten (10) homemade shotguns, one (1) shotgun, one (1) cal 380, fourteen (14) cal 38 pistols, nine (9) cal 357 pistols, three (3) cal .45 pistols and three improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

LTC NAPOLEON PABON, Commanding Officer of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) in his statement said, “We have a continuing responsibility for the Masbateño former rebel and it shall commence after they have laid their arms and return to the fold of our legitimate government. We need to insure that all benefits and necessary remunerations especially housing and kabuhayan packages be provided them by concerned agencies in constant collaboration with the local government of the province.”

“The recent mass surrender of the members of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) manifests that the government’s effort to offer peace is on the right track and that the influence of this communist group is weakening. Finally, the people are realizing that the 5-decade of violence is senseless,” COL NOE ALBERTO PEÑAFIEL, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade underscored.

Meanwhile, MGEN FERNANDO T TRINIDAD AFP reiterated that the armed struggle being pushed by the CPP and their treacherous acts just like the recent ambush in Labo, Camarines Norte which killed one military personnel and wounded six others will never solve the society’s underlying problems.

Furthermore, he encouraged the communist terrorists to follow the footsteps of their former comrades who decided to return to the folds of the law and live peacefully with their families.

He also added that the government is more than ready to welcome and help them reestablish their lives through the different programs of Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict 5 (RTF-ELCAC5) as part of the government’s intensified implementation of Executive Order No. 70 (EO) or the Whole-of-Nation Approach.

On the other hand, a nationwide indignation rally was also staged today condemning the violence and illegal activities being spread by the CPP that impedes the government’s effort for sustainable peace and development. In Bicol region same activity was launched in Naga City, Legazpi City, Sorsogon City, Masbate City and in Daet, Camarines Norte.

In Naga City, the Philippine National Police, 9th Infantry Division (9ID), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), other force multipliers, local officials, and peace-loving Nagueños gathered at the Plaza Quince Martires to support the activity while other areas in Bicol also held the same event to denounce all forms of violence, terrorism and atrocities hurled by the CTG.

The demonstrators carried with them placards stating their call to end the insurgency and unite for a lasting peace.

Ka Jerry, a former rebel spoke in front of the crowd and shared his disappointment with the communist terrorists.

“…nagugutom, ulan, init at nagkakaroon po kami ng sakit at ‘yon pong mga kasamahan ko pong nagkakasakit at hindi na nila kinakaya ay iniiwanan na lang kung saan-saan,” he added.

He said, they joined the communist group because of a promise of good life which never happened.

Instead, the government troops especially the military whom they considered as enemies for a very long time were the one who assisted them to start their lives anew.