CAMP CARREON, Calinog Iloilo – An NPA Team Leader and Medical Officer operating in the island of Panay surrender to the Charlie Company of the 61st Infantry Battalion through Calinog Vice Mayor Renato C Casinao on June 6 2019.
Reynel Baybado BRAGA at MJ/NIÑO, 21 yrs old, single, resident of Brgy Santiago, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo – Team m Leader of Squad 1, Front 13, KR-Panay and Allyn Rose Romero DIAZ at PRINCESS/JOY/NIÑA), 20 yrs old, single, resident of Brgy Datagan, Calinog, Iloilo- Medical Officer of Squad 2, Front 13, KR-Panay, voluntarily surrendered at Camp Ceferino S Carreon, Brgy Libot, Calinog, Iloilo through localized negotiation efforts.
According to the duo, they decided to leave the underground movement and went on AWOL in May 2019 due to hardship and hunger, “We were just looking for a chance to surrender because we want to live a peaceful life and create a life away from the armed struggle. We realized that fighting against the government will bring no peace but to our graves”, said Braga.
In the same manner, Diaz was emotional remembering her sufferings, “Joining the NPA did nothing good to my life and I regret every bit of my decision.”
Lt Col. Joel Benedict G Batara Commander, 61st IB said, “I am happy with the decision of Braga and Diaz. We will process their inclusion as beneficiaries of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and be able to avail of the maximum benefits due them. We just hope that more of their comrades will follow their lead and choose to live a peaceful life.”
Further Lt Col Batara stated, “The influx of surrenderees is a clear manifestation that the CNTs have disintegrated. We know this based on the testimonies of the Former Rebels (FRs) that most of the members are now planning to surrender and are just waiting for that opportune time to break away from their group. Our message to them is not to wait because they are just prolonging the agony inside a group that is fighting for a useless cause.”
On the other hand, Maj. Gen. Dinoh A Dolina, Commander, 3rd ID once again reiterated his consistent call to the remaining members of the CPP NPA Terrorist Group to abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law and be back to the mainstream society. “We are continuing our local peacetalks so that more CNT members will hear us. I am confident that they are heading our call and we are once again reaching out to the members of the CNTs who are still in the mountains to surrender and avail of the E-CLIP while they still can. The more you resist and go against the government, the more you put yourselves in danger by pushing away your chances of living a peaceful and meaningful life”, Dolina ended.
The E-CLIP is a program of the government for those members of the NPA who will return to the folds of the law. The program includes financial assistance of up to 65,000 pesos, free housing, and free education among others. A reintegration process will also take place which will prepare them in their return to the community and live peacefully together with their families.