By Freddie G. Lazaro
Three New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, an amazon and two regular rebels, yielded to army troopers after talks were made between the government authorities and the rebels’ relatives in Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur.
Lieutenant Colonel Eugenio Julio Osias IV, Commander of the Army’s 18th Infantry Batallion based in Barangay Bugbuga, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur, said Monday the surrender of the three rebels was the result of all-out initiatives which began in the first quarter of the year to call on local NPA rebels to return to the fold of law for peace and development in the countryside.
The amazon surrenderee was identified only as “Ka Lumen,” the medic of the Kilusang Larangang Guerilya (KLG) Montes of the NPA operating in the mountainous areas along the boundaries of the provinces of Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur.
The two regular rebel surrenderees were identified as “Ka Ren,” a member of NPA’s SPP South Central, and “Ka Fera,” a member of the NPA’s KLG Montes.
“The true names of these surrendered NPA rebels were withheld for security reasons pending the processing of their status,” Osias said.
It was reported that “Ka Lumen” was surrendered to authorities with her caliber .45 pistol firearm on January 31; while “Ka Ren” was yielded with his carbine M1 rifle on February 22; and “Ka Fera” was surrendered with his US M1 rifle (Garand) firearm on February 24.
“We are now processing the possible benefits to be given to the three NPA surrenderees based on the guidelines of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the national government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Osias said.
In an interview, the three former rebels said they surrendered for the following reasons: they were very much dismayed to the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire between them and the government; their leaders who enjoyed the luxuries of life abroad while they are suffering in the mountains; and the recent massive combat operations of the battalion.
With the President Duterte’s declaration of an all-out war against the CPP-NPA-NDF, one rebel has quoted, “It is better to surrender than to be in an encounter of a worthless fight.”
Osias gave emphasis on helping and assisting the former rebels in their journey to a new life assuring that every rebel who surrenders will be fully supported and secured.
“NPA rebels are also victims of false ideology, let us always open the avenues and communications in sustaining programs for them and for the people’s well-being,” he said.