Tired of life on the run, Karapatan leader quits armed struggle
Updated: May 17
By Christine Cudis / Philippine News Agency
MANILA – Tired of making things happen for her so-called comrades and wanting to start a new life, a high-ranking officer of a communist terrorist group (CTG) based in Quezon province recently returned to government fold.
Genelyn Dichoso alias Gemma, the 52-year-old secretary general of leftist group Karapatan Quezon, surrendered to the Philippine Army 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) in Tanay, Rizal.
She was welcomed back in Barangay 10 Poblacion, Catanauan, Quezon on April 5, 2021.
"Dahil ilang taon po akong kumilos para sa kanila. Puro na lamang po problema. Puro na lang ang mahihirap (I worked for them [CTG] for several years. It was a life full of problems)," she told the military and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade in an interview on April 15.
The NTF-ELCAC identified Karapatan as among the legal fronts established by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to spread lies and deceive people into turning against the government.
"Nakokonsensya din po ako na napapahamak lamang po yung mga na-o-organize ko. Ang totoo po, Sir, hindi po ako makatulog. Hindi po ako makakain. Noon ko pa po sana yun ginawa kaya lang nabulag po ako sa katotohan. Ipinalaladlad nila na kapag nahawakan ka na ng sundalo, kahit sumuko ka ay ikukulong at ikukulong pa rin dahil pag lumaban daw po sa gobyerno (I feel guilty that those who I recruited were led to danger. I cannot sleep and eat. I wished that I surrendered earlier but I was blinded from the truth. They would tell us the military will put us in jail if we surrender, no matter our negotiations)," she continued.
Doesn’t want to kill
In her recorded confession to the authorities, Dichoso said she left the armed movement because she "does not want to kill".
"Ako naman po ay 52 na rin. Ilan na lamang po ang itatagal ng buhay ko sa ibabaw ng mundo para maiharap ko naman po sa aking mga anak at apo na ako na lang din po ang inaaasahan (I am already 52 years old. I only have a few years left in me. I should spend time with my family)," she added.
Parlade, who facilitated the interview, said surrendering is the start of Dichoso’s new life.
"Ang gobyerno ay handa para tulungan sya upang makapiling ang kanyang pamilya. Bigyan natin sya ng pagkakataon na mamuhay ng tahimik. Habang iniwan na nya ang kilusan para tumulong sa atin (The government is prepared to lend a hand for her to be with her family. Let us give her a chance to live peacefully as she left the armed movement to help us)," he said.
Brig. Gen Rommel Tello, Acting Commander of the Army’s 2ID, said Karapatan Southern Tagalog should be wary that their members have realized the lies fed them.
"The surrender further solidifies the CPP-NPA's defeat. Not only are its ordinary fighters disillusioned. There are also indications of discontent among their top leaders. As such, the Philippine Army will never falter until all your deceptive tactics will be completely exposed," he said.
Tello said Dichoso will undergo social reintegration process, medical checkup, and debriefing while the Army will ensure her safety from the NPA retaliation.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)