MANILA – A commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division (2ID), which has operational jurisdiction over Southern Tagalog, on Tuesday called communist rebels voluntarily surrendering to government forces as “heroes of modern times”.
“Act of turning backs from the armed struggle is a crucial step in attaining a just and lasting peace in our beloved country,” 2ID commander Major Gen. Greg Almerol said.
To date, a total of 234 New People’s Army (NPA) militias voluntarily surrendered to government security forces, raising the total to 674 since Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) was implemented in 2016 in Southern Tagalog.
On September 20 alone, he said eight NPA militia members voluntarily surrendered to government forces in Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro due to localized peace negotiations. All eight are members of the NPA’s “Kilusang Larangang Gerilya MAV”.
“Under our care, these former rebels and those who will decide to surrender in the coming days will be assisted by our troops in claiming their E-CLIP grants while we ensure their safety and promote their well-being so that they will be able to peacefully rejoin the mainstream society as responsible and productive Filipinos,” Almerol said.
Almerol also lauded the local government units and the security forces for their teamwork and seamless relationship in defeating the NPA terrorists.
“We are calling upon the few remaining NPA terrorists to follow the path of your former comrades by choosing peace over violence because, as mandated by the Constitution, we will get those who still choose to sow terror against the people regardless whether they are dead or alive,” he added. (PNA)