At least 32 active members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Agusan del Norte formally surrendered to the government on December 26, the 52nd founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Agusan del Norte Police Director, Col. Martin M. Gamba, said Saturday the mass surrender was the result of the collaborative efforts of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local government units, and national agencies in line with the implementation of Executive Order (EO) 70 in the region.
Signed in late 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte, EO 70 seeks to end the local communist armed conflicts through a whole-of-nation approach.
“This is a testament that people in the countryside who have been deceived by the CPP into joining the armed struggle had realized that there is only one government that truly cares for their safety and well-being,” Gamba said in a statement.
He said it was only fitting that as the CPP celebrated its founding anniversary, many of its members opted to abandon the movement’s “hopeless ideology and return to their families and communities.”
The former rebels were presented to Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., director of Police Regional Office 13 (Caraga) at its headquarters here.
The 32 surrenderers handed over 19 firearms.
“There is nothing to celebrate in the 52 years of chaos made by the CPP. They brainwash the youth to join the armed struggle and die. They extort money from businesses and sabotage government projects. They murder innocent civilians, children, policemen, soldiers, and the indigenous peoples,” Caramat said. SOVEREIGNPH