Localized Peace Engagement works in Bukidnon: NPA leaders surrender

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Malaybalay City, January 16, 2020 – “We concede to government’s CSP”, confessed Resylyn Pardo a.k.a Jamby, the Secretary of CPP-NPA’s Guerrilla Front 6 or the so-called Bukidnon Command. Jamby also said the way they were treated by soldiers was contrary to what they were told by their senior cadre that they will be raped or tortured once they surrender.

Guerilla Front 6 Secretary is the NPA political organization that radicalized and turned militants the residents of seven town in southern Bukidnon namely: Valencia City, San Fernando, Kitaotao, Maramag, Don Carlos, Dangcagan And Quezon.

She was joined by her husband, Renante Tumbalang a.k.a. Jigger or War the commander or “CO” of GF6’s Front Operational Command who said they have lost the sympathy of the local populace and the tribes which significantly affected their morale. The couple revealed that the loss of mass base constricted them in the mountains. They cannot “disperse” their forces anymore which made them vulnerable to followed “non-stop” offensive operations of government troops in their mountain lairs. “The death of Commander Amana during a major encounter with the Army was very demoralizing”, said Jigger.

Jamby said, for the past year (2019), their higher political organ tasked them to regain their lost initiative. “Hindi kami nakapag gawaing-masa at gawaing militar. Natigil ang KalMas (kalihokang masa) pati ang ArPak (armadong pakigbisog) dahil nauubos ang aming organisadong masa at mga sanga ng partido sa lokal. Nag focus kami sa recovery pero hindi namin magawa dahil ayaw na kaming tulungan ng mga tao sa barrio. Yung 25000 namin na baseng masa na itinayo namin ng ilang taon, humiwalay sa amin. Yung 18 na KRB (komiteng rebolusyonaryo sa barrio) na pinaghirapan namin, nalusaw lahat”, added Jamby claiming she used to be the record holder in the number of KRBs established by NCMRC, the CPP’s party organ in Northern Mindanao.

Following the creation of Region 10 Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that was launched in Bukidnon in July 2019, LGUs in Region 10 were tapped to initiate “Localized Peace Engagement”. Elected officials were sought to intervene and encourage NPA members who are also their constituents to take the path to peace and participate in governance as resource persons for the socio-economic programs of the LGUs.

The Local Government Unit of Valencia City was key to Jamby and Jigger’s return to the fold of the law. The LGU’s efforts paved the way when the couple sought the assistance of City Councilor Dejos and Valencia City Mayor Huervas as they expressed their desire to quit from the communist movement. The Valencia City LGU, with assistance from Congressman Neil Roque, arranged for the safe movement of the couple and 5 others from the mountains to annundisclosed placed. They were eventually tirned over to 88th Infantry Battalion amd 403rd Infantry Brigade for enrollment into the enhanced comprehensive local integration program of the government.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa Provincial Government ng Bukidnon at sa City Government ng Valencia dahil sila ang naging bukas na pinto para sa pagbabagong buhay ng mga kapatid natin na naligaw ng landas. Ito ay isang patunay na mas epektibo ang local level na usaping pangkapayapaan, halos isang linggo lang ang negosasyon, nagbalik loob na sila. Ang national level peacetalks, nagumpisa nung 1986, hanggang ngayon wala pa ring kapayapaan sa ating bansa. Ito pong local integration program ay sang-ayon kagustuhan at utos ng ating Commander-in-Chief President Duterte at ito po ay nagtatagumpay. Nagpapasalamat din po kami sa tulong at inisyatiba ni Congressman Neil Roque at sya rin ay naging daan sa pagbabagong buhay ng mga rebelde.”, said BGen Edgardo De Leon, the Commander of 403rd Brigade covering the Provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin, to include Cagayan de Oro City.

“Our war is not focused on winning battles through the barrel of guns, ours is a peaceful war involving communities in conflict affected areas. We together with local leaders and our constituents join hands and committed to battle land issues, poverty, and other problems thru dialogue with the right people, organization amd agency. We commend the 403rd Bde and the 88IB, and the local government unit of Bukidnon for winning the peaceful war” Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, Commander of 4ID said.

Jamby and Jigger along with their five other colleagues were presented by Valencia City LGU to Gov Jose Ma Zubiri Jr as Provincial Chairman of the Enchanced Comrehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) Committee during a Press Conference held at Valencia City.

The Provincial Social Welfare Development Office determine the package of assistance that would suit the needs of the former rebels which the military now calls “kauban sa kalinaw ug kalamboan”.