Elderly rebel cuts ties with NPA in Antique
By Perla Lena / Philippine News Agency
ILOILO CITY – The promise of a better and peaceful life convinced a 60-year-old member of the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) to surrender to government forces in Sitio Canapay, Brgy. Caridad, Culasi, Antique on Friday.
Lito (not his real name), of Sebaste town, was a member of Northern Front-Komiteng Rehiyon Panay.
The community support program (CSP) and other community-based programs and activities in line with Executive Order (EO) 70, the institutionalization of the Whole-of-Nation Approach through the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), convinced the rebel to surrender, said Lt. Col. Joem J. Malong, Police Regional Office 6 spokesperson, on Saturday.
CSP is the military's primary tool in clearing the barangays of communists' influence while EO 70 aims to address the root causes of insurgency to end local armed conflict in the countryside.
Lito voluntarily yielded to the Culasi police with the help of the intelligence operatives of the various units of the Philippine National Police and the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
“He last joined the NPA operations in 2011 but he was listed in the 1990 Order of Battle of AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) operating in Antique area,” Malong said in an interview.
In his testimony, he admitted that he was one of those responsible for the harassment of the detachment of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) in Brgy. Bitadton, Culasi in 1986, Malong said.
He also figured in an armed encounter with the 47th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in the same barangay sometime in 1996.
While he could not recall the exact date, Lito said he “commandeered a 10-wheeler truck loaded with prime commodities at Brgy. Naba in the same municipality.”
He also turned over a homemade .38 revolver with four live ammunition and 10 live ammunition of .60 caliber machine gun.
The surrenderer, who is now in the custody of Culasi police for custodial debriefing, will be endorsed to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for him to avail of assistance as he starts to lead a normal life.
Maj. Cenon C. Pancito III, spokesperson of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said the CSP team deployed in Antique last year has ended its assignment after three months.
“We still have left behind forces just to maintain the security within the area," Pancito said.
The CPP-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)