The welcome trend towards eventual peace in the countryside continues as the Balik-Loob Program harvests 15 more former rebels barely a day after the mass surrenderers in Masbate province. They yielded to the government through the 49th Infantry Battalion (49IB) and the PNP in Ligao City, Albay, last May 5, 2021.
Of the number, six are regular NPA members, three Militiang Bayan members, five Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) members and one supporter who also turned in five high-powered firearms and four low-powered firearms.
They were presented to Col. Jaime Abawag Jr., Brigade Commander of 902nd Infantry Brigade in a simple ceremony at the 49IB’s headquarters in Barangay Tastas, complaining that they can no longer stomach the terroristic acts hurled by the communist terror groups (CTG) that endanger not just the lives of the innocent civilians but their own families.
Recently, due to desperation because of their continuous debacles and waning support from their supporters in Bicol, the CTG resorted to launch terror actions victimizing hapless civilians that further highlights their inhuman intentions.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Tapnio, Battalion Commander of 49IB stressed that this development is the result of the concerted efforts of the members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).
Meanwhile, Col. Abawag thanked the families of the now considered former rebels (FRs) who convinced their relatives to go home, return to the folds of the law and live a peaceful and fulfilling life.
“Ngayong nakabalik na sila sa kani-kanilang mga pamilya, mas makakatulog na sila ng mahimbing. Hindi na mag-aalala ang kanilang mga kaanak kung kumakain pa ba sila o kung buhay pa ba sila. Higit sa lahat, hindi na sila magagamit pa ng CTG sa pagsasagawa ng mga iligal na aktibidad at karahasan,” Col. Abawag said.
Furthermore, MajGen Henry Robinson Jr PA, commander of the Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) underscored that even after their surrender, the government including the Army, will continue to assist these FRs as they reintegrate to the mainstream society. As the Regional Task Force for the Elimination of Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) rolls out more and more tangible programs, projects and activities intended for the sustainable economic and human development in Bicol, the JTF Bicolandia is confident that the CTG, which capitalizes on the underlying problems in the society to lure people into joining their hopeless cause, will certainly reach its natural death.