FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – A big group of organized supporters of the terrorist New People’s Army in Carranglan town returned to the fold of the law and gave themselves up to the military based in San Jose City on Wednesday.
Major Amado Gutierrez, 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division spokesman said some 53 NPA supporters turned themselves in in what was described as the biggest mass surrender ever to take place at the barangay hall of Capintalan, Carranglan.
Gutierrez said these rebel backers formally surrendered to Barangay Captain Francisco Evasco and Lt. Col. Honorato Pascual Jr., commander of the 84th Infantry Battalion.
Alias Dangla, one of the 53 NPA surrenderers, yielded an M-16 rifle with a loaded magazine which was given to him by an NPA rebel sometime in 2017.
They are tired of fighting for a useless and pointless cause,” Lt. Col. Pascual said. “Gusto na nilang mabuhay ng payapa, at ang paraan lang para magawa nila iyon ay sumuko sila at makipagtulungan sa atin,” he said.
The mass surrender was a result of the joint efforts of the 84IB, the 7th Civil Military Operations (CMO) Battalion, the Barangay Peace & Order Council and Barangay Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (BTF-ELCAC) of Bgy. Capintalan, Carranglan.
Gutierrez said the surrenderers came from CPP-NPA underground affiliates identified as Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad; Yunit Milisyang Bayan; Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas; Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan; Kabataang Makabayan of Sitios Lising and Pandayan, both of Bgy. Capintalan; and Sitio Malihdi, Bgy. Minuli.
“It is apparent that the message of our united forces - the LGUs, LGAs, us in the Army, and the PNP – has finally come across in Carranglan, and the people understand that what we are offering is a win-win situation. Nothing but peace and development will result from the ‘whole-of-nation approach’, and I enjoin the rest of our brothers who are still undecided to leave the armed movement and work with us, instead, to bring real progress to our nation,” said Maj. General Lenard T. Agustin, 7th ID Commander.