LEGAZPI CITY — Some 48 former supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Barcelona town in Sorsogon recently took their oath of allegiance to the government, the 9th Infantry Division (9ID) Public Affairs Office said on Wednesday.
Capt. John Paul Belleza, DPAO chief, said in a phone interview that the rebel supporters were from the villages of Sta. Cruz and San Ramon, which are considered as insurgency-affected areas in Barcelona town.
Barcelona is a fifth-class municipality with 25 villages where many residents depend on coconuts and root crops for livelihood. The town is 32 kilometers away from Sorsogon City, the capital of the province.
Those who took their oath of allegiance to the government were tagged by the military as Militia ng Bayan (MB) members. They are unarmed and work underground as spy network of the NPA in villages.
The oathtaking ceremony took place during the “Pulong-pulong”, a community support program of the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion based in Barcelona, Sorsogon.
In the said event, soldiers offered free haircut to at least 100 residents while different government agencies conducted an information drive about their respective programs.
Barangay officials expressed their gratitude to the military and the government agencies for the help extended to the villagers. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)