Young rebel surrenderer, tells youth: ‘Say no to NPA recruitment’

June 9, 2021 Steve A. Gosuico 797 views

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija — After experiencing the hardships of hiding in the mountains, a 24-year-old New People’s Army rebel surrendered to the authorities in Ilocos Sur.

Recruited into the armed movement in 2019, Alvin (not his real name), a member of Platoon SIS – KLG AMPIS, contacted his family to seek assistance from the Philippine Army, through the 81st Infantry Battalion stationed in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur.

Alvin joined the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in 2019. At first, he said he was not afraid of the new environment he entered into but when he saw the bloody encounters with the government troops, he experienced fear.

“Nagsisisi ako na sumama sa kilusan. Nandun lahat ng hirap na naranasan ko katulad ng kumain ng puro lugaw sa loob ng isang linggo, tatlong kutsarang kanin, sobrang pagod at puyat, at pati na rin isang beses maligo sa isang buwan,” said Alvin.

These horrible experiences drove him to surrender, Alvin said. When he heard of the news about the other CPP-NPA mass supporters in Sta. Cruz, which included his older brother, who yielded on May 2021 through Executive Order (EO) 70 or the Whole-of-Nation approach that mandated the creation of the National Task force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), he said he did not hesitate to yield to the government.

His surrender also led to the recovery of firearms issued to him, including two M16 rifles, one long aluminum magazine, and a short aluminum magazine hidden somewhere in Bontoc, Mt. Province.

“Masaya ako at ang aking pamilya na makita nila akong buhay sa aking pag-surrender. Ito ang patunay na hindi totoo ang sabi-sabi na kapag ika’y sumuko sa kasundaluhan, sasaktan ka para makapagsabi ng impormasyon. Masaya lang ako ngayon at nakalaya na ako sa armadong grupo at kasama na ang aking pamilya,” the young former rebel said.

Now that he’s free from the communist movement, various assistance awaits him through the government’s Enhanced Community Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

Alvin said he wants to continue his studies if given the opportunity. He likewise advised the youth to finish their studies and not be deceived by the lies and propaganda of the CPP-NPA.

“Kung may lumalapit na tao na hindi ninyo kakilala, ‘wag magtiwala agad baka mabiktima kayo kagaya ko at ng aking mga kasamahan na narecruit ng NPA,” he added.

Lt. Col. Rodrigo Marinas Jr., 81ST IB battalion commander, said that the CPP-NPA-NDF is indeed losing their grip on their mass supporters and even among their regular armed members. “Ang pagbaba ni Alvin at pakikipagtulungan ng kanyang pamilya ay nagpapatunay na nagigising na ang mga tao na walang pupuntahan ang pagsuporta at pagsali sa aramadong grupo ng CPP-NPA,” he said.

Upon learning of the surrender of @Alvin, Brig. Gen. Krishnamurti Mortela, commander of the 702nd Infantry Brigade, said: “Napakaligaya ko na isa na namang kababayan nating nalinlang ng mga bandidong NPA ang naliwanagan ang kaisipan at piniling sumuko sa pamahalaan at mamuhay ng tahimik kasama ang kanyang pamilya. Nananawagan ako sa mga iba pa nating mga kababayan na nasa grupo pa ng bandidong NPA na tularan si @ Alvin, ng kanila ding matamasa ang kanilang inaasam-asam na katahimikan.”

Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. commander of the 7th Infantry Division, said: “Dahil sa programa ng gobyerno sa ilalim ng E.O 70, mabilis na nalulusaw ang pwersa ng mga lokal na terorista sa norteng bahagi ng Luzon — mapa suporta man ng masa o sa mga miyembro ng rebeldeng grupo. Ito ay patunay ng epektibong implementasyon at pamamaraan ng Task Force ELCAC.”

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