CLAVERIA, MISAMIS ORIENTAL – Six members and one high-ranking official of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered with four firearms to the 58th Infantry Dimalulupig Battalion’s headquarters at Sitio Migbanday, Brgy. Poblacion, Claveria, Misamis Oriental July 26, 2021.
According to the accounts of the surrenderers, they had wanted to quit the organization for a long time due to the hardships and hunger they endured, but they were always stopped by their leaders. When the opportunity to flee presented itself, they took it without hesitation. The surrenderers were identified as alias Aba, a squad leader of Platoon Ryan, 23 years old; his wife alias Angie, 23 years old, Squad Medic of same Platoon, both are residents of Purok – 3B, Brgy Mat-I, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. Alias Douglas, Political Guide, Squad Dos, Platoon Eagles, 24 years old and a resident of Sitio Aligodon, Brgy Mat-i, Claveria, Misamis Oriental; with his wife, alias Kimyan, a member of Squad tres, 17 years old, and a resident of Sitio Kamansi, Brgy Banglay, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental.
Alias Maman, squad leader of Squad dos, Platoon Ryan, 27 years old, a resident of Sitio Sabangaan, Brgy San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon; and his wife, alias Marga, squad medic of Squad Dos, Platoon Ryan, 24 years old, a resident of Brgy Balit, San Luis, Agusan del Sur all from Sub-regional Committee 1 (SRC 1) of North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC). Lastly, alias Kerwin, Vice-commander of Platoon Madar, Headquarters Force NEO of NCMRC, 24 years old, a resident of Barangay Kalabuan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur. Alias Aba brought along with him one M16 rifle; alias Douglas, one homemade shotgun; alias Maman, one AK47; and alias Kerwin, one KG9. Now that their wives are all pregnant, they are very eager and convinced to begin a fresh start with their own families.
On the other hand, alias Abay states why they chose to surrender. “Wala pa ni sya maburos sir, nagplano na gyud ko na mubaba na. Nananghid na ko muoli. Sa upat katuig nakong pag uban sa armado, wala gyud ko gitugtan na makauli or bisan pa maistorya akong pamilya. Duha ka tuig bag-o nako matawagan ang akong pamilya, ayha na dayon ko kaistorya sa ila gi-aghat ko sa akong mama na uli na lagi diri. Unya nakahuna-huna na gyud ko kay naa naman ko anak pud unya magpadulong na sa duha. Sa bag-o pa pagpanganak sa akong unang anak, naghatag pa na sila ug dos mil. Pero sa kadugayan ang ilang saad na suportahan ang among anak, Nawala na. May na lang sa isa ka-tuig mahatagan ug isa ka-libo. Nakahuna huna na dayon ko.. unsa kahay kaugmaon sa akong mga anak no? kami unsa kahay kaugmaon namo kung magpadayon mi ani? Na ing-ani kadako ang sakripisyo unya mamatay ra sa gutom ang akong pamilya ug ako pud way kasiguruan ang kinabuhi? Nakaamgo ko na dili na gyud siguro ta ani. Nakadungog pud ko na ang mga kauban nakong nagsurender, wala man sila giunsa nakauli naman gani sa ilang mga pamilya. Sige pud kog ingnan sa akong mama ug papa na bakak nang ilang istorya. Tinuod gyud diay ilang ingon nga wala gyuy kaugmaon didto. Sakto gyud diay. Pasalamat kaayo ko karon na naa mi sa maayong panglawas ug makauli na mi ug makabalik na sa dati nakong panginabuhi.” (We were preparing to go down even before my wife became pregnant. I yearned to return home. I was never allowed to travel home or even speak to my family during my four years in the armed group. It took two years for me to be able to call and speak with my family, and during that time, my mother begged me to return home. I then gave it some serious thinking because I already have a child and my wife is expecting another. They had given me two thousand pesos shortly after the birth of my first child. However, their commitment to help our child faded over time. If you get Php1,000 per year for child support, consider yourself lucky. Then it occurred to me… what could my children’s future hold? What would our future look like if we continued to participate in this armed conflict? We made huge sacrifices, and yet our lives are on the line, from starving to death, with no guarantee of survival? I knew we were no longer certain about this. I also learned that my surrendered colleagues were safe and able to reunite with their families and begin their new lives. That is something I would like for my family as well. My parents were correct in their assessment. Everything our leaders told us, everything they promised us, was a lie. It is true that in the armed group, one has no future. I’m very grateful that we’re all safe now and that we can go home and resume our old lives.)
Lieutenant Colonel Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer, 58IB, lauded alias Aba and alias Angie, alias Douglas and alias Kimyan, alias Maman and alias Marga, and alias Kerwin, for their decision to surrender, praising their bravery and courage in leaving the revolutionary movement. He also hopes that the remaining NPA members in MisOr would do the same.
“Come down right now and take advantage of the government’s programs and services. This is for your own welfare as well as the future of your family. Return to the folds of the law and begin living in peace within your communities.” Lt. Col. Canatoy ended. The seven surrenderers are presently in the custody of 58IB until their enrollment to E-CLIP is processed.