Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – In a significant ceremony facilitated by the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) AFP, 40 members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY), a Communist Terrorists Group (CTG) front group in Bulacan, declared their separation from KADAMAY and withdrawal of support to the CTG on September 7, 2023 at Barangay Siling Bata, Pandi, Bulacan.
The 40 former KADAMAY members who forcibly occupied and settled in Barangay Siling Bata denounced the CTG by burning the CPP-NPA and KADAMAY banners and pledged to support the government’s peace and development initiatives.
Government agencies from the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) that witnessed the withdrawal of support, such as the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Reconciliation and Unity (OPPAPRU), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agriculture (DA); Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG); Department of Social Welfare and Development Office (DSWD); Philippine Information Agency (PIA); Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) presented their programs and committed support as well as appreciated the former KADAMAY members’ decision in embracing peace.
The 40 former KADAMAY members will join the Samahan ng Malayang Kapatiran Para sa Kapayapaan (SAMAKKA), a former KADAMAY members’ organizations established by the RTF ELCAC 3 in October 2020.
The RTF-ELCAC 3 considered the ceremony a historic stage in the fight to end the CTG’s more than fifty years of armed conflict and violence.
“This ceremony is a symbol of renewed hope for former members of KADAMAY—a literal and complete freedom from the violence and deception of the CPP-NPA-NDF”, said NICA3 Director Niño Anthony E. Balagtas, who served as the keynote speaker and is the head of the Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management Cluster (SAKM) of RTF-ELCAC 3.
He also expressed his gratitude to the SAMAKKA group in their pursuit of peace and development, which is in line with the advocacy under the Whole-of-Nation Approach under Executive Order No. 70.
“You in SAMAKKA are the living testimony that the people of Pandi prefer peace and you are now working to end the CTG.”
He further stated that the RTF-ELCAC is continuing its efforts, together with various government agencies, to bring the government services that are really meant to those in need.
BGen Joseph Norwin D. Pasamonte, PA, Commander of the 703rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, assured former KADAMAY members of the AFP’s continuous support in the area, not only for peace and security but also for development.
“We will be always behind you, and we will do our best to bring you closer to the concerned government agencies that can address your concerns, your army is not only for peace and security, but you can also count on us to help you in your development”.
Meanwhile, NOLCOM Commander LTGEN FERNYL G. BUCA PAF said that the decision of the former KADAMAY members to withdraw their support signifies the growing awareness of communist terrorist ideology.
“These 40 former KADAMAY members recognized now the value of peaceful dialogue and the pursuit of long-term solutions to their plight, and their decision to withdraw support from the CTG demonstrates that genuine progress can be achieved through democratic and inclusive processes rather than through violence” said the NOLCOM Commander.
The activity was also in line with the observance of National Peace Consciousness Month with the theme “Kapayapaan ay Responsibilidad ng bawat Mamamayan” as an effort to foster and sustain the gains of peace.