CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela– Remnants of the Section Guerilla Unit (SGU) of Komiteng Probinsya (KOMPROB) Isabela, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley (KR-CV) finally found their freedom outside the terrorist group on March 29, 2022 at Sitio Lagis, Barangay Sindon Bayabo, Ilagan City, Isabela.
Couple alias Alpha, 40 years old, alias Teresa, 35 years old, and their child alias Rikson, 18 years old are from San Mariano, Isabela freed themselves the New People’s Army (NPA) since they joined in February 2016. They brought with them three M16 rifles, two short magazines, one long magazine, and 23 pieces of 5.56 ammunition.
According to the couple, alias Davao-Squad Leader of SGU recruited and forced them to join the terrorist group in 2016 in order to live a comfortable life. They were persuaded as they want to give a better life to their child. Unfortunately, they realized that they were dragged down into the pit of fire when they have experienced a more difficult life inside the terrorist group. “Nung nararanasan na namin na magutom tapos wala kaming makain, kahit mainom wala, dun talaga namin naisip na sobrang mali ang desisyon naming sumampa sa NPA. Tapos wala pang katapusan na paglalakad, kapag minalas pa makakasalubong namin yung mga sundalo na kinatatakutan din namin noon kasi sinisira ng mga kadre ng NPA ang imahe ng mga sundalo,” the former rebels said as they give their testimonies to the military and PNP troops.
“Sabi namin wala na rin kaming magagawa. Nagbabalak kami noon na tumakas sa kilusan pero natatakot na baka habulin kami ng mga kasamahan namin at patayin. Akala namin wala ng pag-asa na makawala pa kami sa NPA. Hanggang sa mamatay si Ka Davao sa engkwentro, nabuwag ang Central Front Committee, at mas marami na kaming dating mga kasamahan ang nagbalik-loob sa pamahalaan, dun na rin kami nakakita na may pag-asa pa para sa amin na makapagbagong-buhay,” the couple added. “Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan na umagapay sa aming pagbabalik-loob po sa ating pamahalaan.”
On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Danilo Benavides, Brigade Commander of 502nd Infantry Brigade said that the greatest decision to save a family from danger is to stay away from the Communist Terrorist Group. “Though the family is the smallest unit in our community, family is the most precious thing we could ever have. It is unfortunate that sometimes, we dream of a better life for our family, but we end up putting our lives in an ill-fated situation. But, setting things right, alias Alpha and alias Teresa can now give a comfortable life for their child alias Rikson upon returning to the folds of the law.”
The Brigade Commander assured the assistance of the government for them under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) aside from the financial assistance under the firearm remuneration program.
Further, Maj. Gen. Laurence Mina, Commander of the 5th Infantry Division said that the surrender of the former rebels only signifies that the terrorist NPA doesn’t have any reason to celebrate their anniversary. “Ang anibersaryo ng NPA ay paalala lamang sa limampu’t tatlong taon na pahirap sa ating bayan. Limampu’t tatlong taon na panlilinlang at pang aabuso sa mga mamamayan. Limampu’t tatlong taon na kasinungalingan sa taumbayan.
Sa mga miyembro at sumusuporta sa teroristang NPA, piliin ninyo ang tunay na kaunlaran at makatotohanang kapayapaan. Ibaba ang armas at makiisa sa pambansang layuning pag-unlad at katiwasayan ng bayan. Isulong ang tunay na tatak ng lahing Pilipino- nagkakaisa, nagtutulungan, at nagdadamayan!”(5ID)