CAMP SANG-AN, Pulacan, ZDS – A platoon-size of Communist NPA rebels surrendered to Army’s 102nd Infantry “IGSOON” Brigade at their headquarters in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, 10:00 a.m. Thursday, January 30, 2020.

The 27 Former Rebels (FRs), who also yielded seven firearms and explosives, were members of the Western Mindanao Party Committee who operates in Zamboanga Peninsula provinces and Misamis Occidental.

The group were ceremonially presented to the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict 9 (RTF-ELCAC – 9), represented by Mario Baterna – Provincial Director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Sibugay together with Brig. Gen. Generoso “Gene” Ponio, Commander, 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army and others.

Alias Diane, one of the former rebels, during his message says that “Nailad ko sa nagrecruit nako na NPA. Gipasaligan ko na naay SUPAMIL (suporta sa pamilya) kada bulan nga madawat akong pamilya kung moapil mi sa armadong pakigbisog. Apan walay pinansyal na niabot sa among balay”.

(I was deceived by the NPA recruiter. They’ve assured that my family will receive monthly financial support if I am going to join the armed struggle. But the finances they’ve promised were not able to reach our home”.

Alias Diego (former rebel), during the press conference, expressed his displeasure of the NPA organization administration and their armed struggle.

Col. Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander, who has operational jurisdiction of the Zampen and Mis Occ provinces, vowed to enroll the 27 FRs to the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

He also assured to collaborate with the Task Force ELCAC, local chief executives, PNP and other stakeholders to facilitate the documents needed during the process of integration.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Ponio during his speech said that “The government is serious in the implementation of the EO-70 by the president through its Task Force ELCAC, or the whole-of- nation approach”.

“Convergence among government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders is the key to end the decades-long communist armed conflict in Mindanao”, Ponio said.

“Encourage some of your comrades, our doors is always open for those who wish to return to the folds of the law but we remain stern in performing our mandate of protecting the people if any situation arises,” he added.

The said activity was also attended by Hon Senen Angeles, Vice Governor Zamboanga del Norte, Mr Dennis Baguio, Representing Governor of Zamboanga Sibugay, DOLE, TESDA, PNP, and Battalion Commanders of 102nd Infantry Brigade.