CAMP GENERAL MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – A New People’s Army (NPA) “Milisyang Bayan (MB)” voluntarily surrendered yesterday (June 23, 2019) to the troops of the 85th Infantry Battalion (85IB) and the local police in Sitio Taisan Brgy San Francisco B, Lopez, Quezon.
Lieutenant Colonel Arnold L. Gasalatan, Battalion Commander of 85IB identified the surrenderee as Crispin D Gonzalez, 59 years old who admitted that he was a militia of the NPA Platoon SOL, Sub- Regional Military Area-4B operating in Quezon province.
Gonzalez surrendered one (1) carbine with eight (8) ammunitions, one (1) improvised shotgun with four (4) ammo, 40 sets of NPA uniforms, 165 rounds of AK-47 ammo, three (3) cellular phones and other enemy subversive documents.
During the interview, Gonzales said he decided to surrender to the authorities after seeing his former comrades who surrendered ahead of him were now living a peaceful life.
“I was brainwashed by the NPAs with their propaganda. As milisyang bayan and a NPA courier, I collect food, logistics and money for them like those I’ve surrendered. I am tired and I want to clear my name”, he added.
Colonel Norwyn P Tolentino, Commander of the 201st (KABALIKAT) Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Quezon province reiterates his call to the NPAs to return to the folds of the law. “Come down, lay-down your arms and we will help you start a new life with your family”.
BGen Elias H Escarcha AFP, Acting Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry (JUNGLE FIGHTER) Division (2ID) lauded the efforts of the troops against the NPA terrorists in the area.
He said that the 2ID localized peace talks with the NPA Communist terrorist group and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government are gaining more surrenderers in regions 4A & B.
“We have strengthened our campaign and the NPAs now realized that they are wasting their time fighting for nothing. We will sustain our gains until they are defeated the soonest possible time. Rest assured that we would work hand-in-hand with the LGUs and other government agencies so that NPAs can avail the E-CLIP”, BGen Escarcha added.
Under the E-CLIP, a former rebel can receive 15,000 pesos immediate cash assistance, 50,000 pesos livelihood assistance, firearms remuneration, have access to housing, loans, employment assistance, medical and legal assistance, skills training, among others.
The package of government assistance also includes educational benefits, which can be extended to the rebel’s immediate family members.