Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., Southern Luzon Command chief (PNA File photo)

MANILA – With the series of voluntary surrenders coming from its ranks, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA)’s Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC) is now on the verge of collapse and defeat.

This, according to Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., in a statement forwarded to the Philippine News Agency last week.

“The STRPC is on the verge of collapse, the people no longer want them, especially those vulnerable people living in far-flung areas whom they had exploited for so long. Wherever they go people report their presence to us, resulting in the series of armed engagements,” he added.

He said the best option for the remaining NPA members affiliated with the STRPC is to voluntarily surrender and return to the folds of the law so that they can help in building better, more productive communities before the long arms of the law catch up with them.

“While the Kamatayan (Makabayan) Bloc members are desperately haggling to block the budget of the NTF ELCAC, nine NPA members of the STRPC returned to the fold of the law in several areas,” Parlade said.

Among them are five communist terrorist group members including a certain “Darwin”, Vice Leader of “Pltn 2,”  “Kilusan Larangan Guerilla” (KLG) Narciso, Sub-Regional Military Area (SRMA) 4D, who surrendered in Kalayaan, Laguna, and General Nakar, Quezon, bringing along three firearms on Sept. 13.

On the same day, four NPA terrorists of  “Platun Aque,” KLG MAV, SRMA 4D in Monteclaro, San Jose Mindoro also voluntarily surrendered to authorities.

“Meanwhile, three active members of Platun 4A4 of KLG Cezar STRPC, escaped to Baler, Aurora but eventually decided to surrender peacefully. Windel Moral Prado, 32-years-old, alias ‘FPJ/Bekit,’  Salenda Rosas Roldan alias ‘Lara/Renren’,  18-years-old and Romel Fajardo, 31-years-old, said they could no longer stand the massive operations in Southern Tagalog,” he said.

He added that these surrenders follow the earlier surrender of alias “Ed,” “Willy,” and “Bong,” on August 24 at Real Quezon.

A total of 666 NPAs from Southern Tagalog, he said, have laid down their arms and rejoined civil society. They have availed of the benefits offered by the NTF ELCAC thru the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP)  and Amnesty Cluster.

Adding to the communist rebels’ woes in Southern Tagalog last September 15 was the overrunning of security forces of an NPA terrorist temporary area at Barangay Abuyon, San Narciso,  Quezon.

Seized in the operation were three high-powered firearms, landmines, and pamphlets from the Makabayan bloc while another encounter with communist terrorists took place at Barangay Calawis, Antipolo City on the same day.

Parlade said on September 14, troopers from the Army’s 203rd Infantry Brigade and Philippine National Police figured in an armed encounter with NPAs of KLG MAV at Magsaysay Occidental Mindoro that resulted in the killing of Justin Ella Vargas alias “Star,” a female “health worker”.

He added that the slain communist terrorist is known to have trained with Fil-American Amado Canham alias “Allen,” who earlier died of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Recovered were several subversive documents, paraphernalia, and pamphlets of Bayan Muna, Bayan, and Anakbayan.

He added that the series of surrenders are taking place as members of the Makabayan bloc are desperately trying to block the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) at the House of Representatives.

“Members of these same organizations have been complaining of being red-tagged yet many of their members are dying in gunfights against government forces, like Ren Manalo alias ‘Pandan,’ a Gabriela “activist” who was recently killed in an encounter in Palawan. (While) Alexandra Pacalda of Gabriela Youth and Karapatan, and Jhenelyn Malabanan of Karapatan were earlier captured,” he added.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

“These girls are only some of those who had been shouting the same lies of Teddy Casiño, Cristina Palabay,  Sarah Elago, Carlo Isagani Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, Ferdinand Gaite, and Francisca Castro who are using their powers in Congress to silence the government by hostaging its budget that will provide services to GIDAs (Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas),” Parlade said.  (PNA)

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