CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-Exhausted of fighting for a useless cause, a total of eighty-three communist terrorists withdrew their membership and support from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front (NDF) in Masbate.
This brings to a total of 111 CTG members and supporters who yielded to the government in this province for this year alone.
Of the mass surrenderees, 9 were regular members of Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT), 40 were members of Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL), 33 were part of Militiang Bayan and a supporter who also turned in 15 firearms composed of six caliber .38, three homemade shotguns, two caliber .357, caliber .45, caliber 9mm, carbine and an improvised handgun.
They were presented to the Masbate Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MPTF-ELCAC) and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) committee around 10 o’clock in the morning at Masbate City, Saturday, December 12.
The surrenderees were given gift packs as an early Christmas present by the provincial government of Masbate.
Enlightened about the deceptions of the terrorist group they once joined, these former members of CTG will now undergo the process of reintegration to the mainstream society.
Aside from the cash, livelihood, housing, medical and educational assistance from the E-CLIP committee, they can also avail of the various programs and benefits from the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).
Major General Henry Robinson Jr PA, P/Col. Joriz Cantoria, Provincial Director of Masbate Police Provincial Office; Hon. Rowena Tuason, City Mayor of Masbate and other officials and representatives of various government agencies were present to witness the event.
“Ang inyong pagbabalik loob ay lubos na magbibigay saya sainyong pamilya lalo na ngayong kapaskuhan. Itong gift giving ay tanda ng taos-pusong pagtanggap ng gobyerno sa inyong pagbabalik-loob”, MGen Robinson said in his welcoming remarks, “Tanda rin ito na kayo ay hindi dapat matakot o mangamba dahil handa ang kasundaluhan na kayo ay protektahan at tulungang makabalik ng mapayapa sa lipunan.”
The head of Joint Task Force Bicolandia also the commendation of Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen for his troops for going above and beyond their call of duty contributing significantly to this breakthrough. Awichen is the commander of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) based in Masbate.
Meanwhile, 903rd Infantry Brigade Commander BGen. Noe Alberto Peñafiel expressed his gratitude for the Bicolanos’ active participation in the government’s campaign towards sustainable peace and development.
Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) under MGen Robinson stressed that this new batch of surrenderees who chose the path of peace is a great manifestation that the government’s peace and development efforts are being implemented successfully thereby creating conflict-free and resilient communities.
“This massive snowball of returnees to the folds of the law will not be the last. Aside from our intensified focused military operations, collaborative efforts between the government and the local populace, the hardships these former members experienced inside the terrorist group led them back home.
“We are therefore confident that soon, the insurgency will finally reach its total extinction and Bicolanos can live in a much peaceful region,” MGen. Robinson added. (SovereignPH)