By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – Fifteen members of Milisya ng Bayan (MB) of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) voluntarily surrendered to the Community Support Team (CST) of the Army Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Sitio (sub-village) San Isidro, Barangay Bunawan Brook, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, the ground Army area commander reported Wednesday.
Col. Andres Centino, commanding officer of the Army’s 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade said the surrendered CNTs belonged to Guerilla Front Committee 14 (GFC 14) of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).
Their return to the fold of the government came following the enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP of the government, claimed the 401st Brigade commander.
Documentation process is now ongoing for the surrenderees for them to avail of livelihood and other support programs being offered by the government through the CLIP program, he said.
“Their (CNTs) surrender is great model for their remaining comrades-in-arms who are still running in the mountains to come down and avail of the government’s CLIP and peace and development program,” Col. Centino said.
The hardship in the mountain, lack of logistical support, sickness and their dwindling numbers also forced them to surrender, he said.
“They want also to test and avail of the government’s offer of peace and development program, and above all they want already to leave in a peaceful life with their families,” the 401st Brigade commander added.
As of press time, the local government unit and other concerned line government agencies were assisting in the processing of their (CNTs) CLIP assistance from the government.
The former CNTs will be presented to Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division chief Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, regional Army spokesperson Lt. Tere Ingente also said.