BONGABON, Nueva Ecija -- Some 19 supporters of the communist New People’s Army rebels who are residents of this town gave themselves up to authorities during oath-taking rites held here on August 6, the military based here said yesterday.
Army Major Amado C. Gutierrez, spokesman of the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division said these NPA supporters, mostly coming from Barangay Antipolo and adjacent areas surrendered to members of the 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion led by Lt. Col. Jose Mari F. Torrenueva.
During the taking of their oath of allegiance to the government, these 19 personalities admitted that they were lured by their propagandists to support the movement after falling prey to NPA deceit against the government.
Presided by Association of Barangay Captains president Joe Lagrimer and assisted by Lt. Col. Torrenueva, these 19 former NPA supporters took their oath at the covered court of the Barangay Antipolo Elementary School on Tuesday.
It was witnessed by Barangay Captain Reynaldo Paulino; Lorena Andaya, school principal; Claudine Claudio, municipal DILG officer; Police Major Jaime C. Ferrer, town chief of police; and other Army, barangay and school officials.
Major General Lenard T. Agustin, 7ID commander, lauded the decision of the 19 former NPA supporters. He said the 50 years of the armed struggle of the NPA terrorists brought so many problems and miseries among thousands of Filipino families. “We are all Filipinos and fighting each other will not bring us anywhere, it will only bring senseless deaths and sufferings,” he stressed.
For his part, Lt. Col. Torrenueva, thanked the barangay officials of Antipolo for their help in convincing these 19 former NPA supporters to surrender and renounce their allegiance to the rebel group. “With their surrender, the NPA terrorist members cannot thrive anymore in their barangay, and the people will live in peace as before when NPA did exist in their community,” he said.