Disappointment, poverty push 2 rebels to surrender in Iloilo
By Perla Lena / Philippine News Agency
ILOILO CITY – Two more Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) fighters in Iloilo joined the list of surrenderers who have expressed disappointment with the armed movement and decided to swear allegiance to the government.
A report from the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO6) on Friday identified the two former rebels as 25-year old alias “June” who used to be part of the Igabon Platoon, Central Front Committee (CFC), and 21-year old alias “Kim”, of the Nonito Aguirre Command of the Eastern Front Committee.
June surrendered to the Bingawan Municipal Police Station (MPS) on June 1 while Kim voluntarily gave himself up to the Leon MPS in Leon town the day after.
PRO 6 spokesperson Lt. Col. Joem Malong said based on the interview with the former rebels, June was already a sympathizer before joining the CPP-NPA on November 11, 2012.
He served as a liaison between the terror group and his aunt who was an active supporter of the CPP-NPA in their barangay.
From 2013 to 2015, he joined encounters against government forces in Barangays Abangay, Acuña, Aglinab, Natip, and Lahug all in Tapaz, Capiz.
He left on March 10, 2018 after the CPP-NPA refused to provide medical support to his sick mother. “There is no truth in their promise that they will fully support my family in times of need,” June said.
He went into hiding and eventually surrendered to the local government unit of Bingawan, which endorsed him to the Bingawan MPS.
On the other hand, Kim joined on March 16, 2018 due to the influence of his cousins, who are active CPP-NPA members.
Their operation under a certain "Ka Romel" covered the mountainous area of Lutod-lutod, President Roxas, and Maayon in Capiz.
After nine months in the movement, he tried several times to escape because he could not bear the extreme fatigue and hunger.
He made a successful escape on the night of December 31, 2018, and hid for over two years until he decided to give himself up.
PRO6 director, Police Brig. Gen. Rolando F. Miranda, said the series of voluntary surrenders is a manifestation of the former rebels' belief in the program of the government to end local armed conflict.
The two, now under the custody of their respective local police stations, will be endorsed to the proper government agencies to be able to avail of the enhanced comprehensive local integration program (E-CLIP).
Malong said this year alone, a total of 131 former rebels from Western Visayas have surrendered to the government through the efforts of the Philippine National Police.
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)