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2 student activists deny kidnap yarn

June 7, 2023 Joel dela Torre 179 views

TWO former Manila-based student-activists who were recruited to the New People’s Army (NPA) debunked claims that they were abducted by soldiers of the Army’s 501st Infantry Brigade.

In a virtual press conference hosted by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Monday, Cedric Casano and Patricia Nicole Cierva, both from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) belied claims of abduction by the front organization Karapatan-Cagayan Valley.

The two said they surrendered to the military in Barangay Cabiraoan Gonzaga, Cagayan on May 16, not May 18, as reported by Karapatan in its social media account dated May 25.

NTF-ELCAC Executive Director, Undersecretary Ernesto Torres Jr. said the government is “winning the war” against communist terrorist groups and urged the remaining rebels to come down and surrender for the sake of peace and unity.

Earlier, Casano and Cierva along with 18 other surrenderees had the opportunity to meet Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba being the head of the Provincial Task Force-ELCAC and other high-ranking military officials wherein they were warmly welcomed to the folds of the law.

“Alam ko ang laro sa insurhensiya. Ang mga dati niyong kasama na nagbalik-loob nasa kapitolyo na at kasama ko sila. Hindi malayong maging kayo ay makakasama ko rin kung nanaisin ninyong itama ang inyong maling nagawa, dahil lahat tayo ay naghahanap ng solusyon para maibsan ang kahirapan,” the governor exhorted the former rebels during a gathering at the Sub-Provincial Capitol in Bangag, Lal-lo, Cagayan where the government formalized their surrender.

Cierva denied Karapatan’s propaganda of abduction and assured their former comrades that they were being treated well by the military.

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