FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – 44 Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) Mass Supporters voluntarily surrendered to the 81st Infantry (Spartan) Battalion at Brgy. Tablac, Candon City, Ilocos Sur, yesterday.
The terrorist supporters surrendered to the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the 81IB, in the presence of Barangay Officials of Brgy. Tablac headed by Chairman Ronald Torres.
The series of surrenders of CNTs and their supporters that transpired over the past few months strongly shows that these people have finally realized the futility and absurdity of insurgency. They now acknowledge that it is only through becoming good citizens can they benefit from the services that the government provides. The development is also indicative of how the government has truly acted on its role of providing better lives for the people.
The spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, said that the development is indicative of the success of the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that integrates the efforts of all local and national government agencies and units. He further said that around 1,800 NPA fighters and supporters have surrendered in the first four months of the year.
The Commander of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Major General Lenard T. Agustin AFP, whose Command covers Ilocos Sur in their area of responsibility (AOR), stated that he is positive that the number of CNT will continue to decline in 7ID’s area of operation as the Kaugnay Division will continue to step up their efforts in convincing those who have been led astray, to surrender to the government and lead peaceful lives.
“They now have the opportunity to live in peace and be with their families. The government will capacitate them to earn and start anew, and ensure that they will never go hungry again through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP). We will welcome all those who choose to embrace peace but will consider an enemy those who who will continue to proliferate violence and insurgency,” said MGen Agustin.
On May 3, 2019, the 44 surrenderees will be presented to the Candon City Mayor during the Grand Pulong-Pulong where they will renew their allegiance to the government and denounce all alliances and activities related to the CNTs.