140 NPA ‘members, supporters’ pledge allegiance to government

140 alleged members and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) recently surrendered and formalized their return to the folds of law at simple program held in Barangay Saad, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.

Those who surrendered come the remote barangays of Dulod, Saad and Sunop of Dumingag town withdrew their support from the communist movement after a dialogue program with the theme: “Panagtigum Alang sa Kalinaw ug Kalamboan” (Meeting for Peace and Development) held at the Saad Barangay Hall.

This was the result of Philippine Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade, 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion’s community support program and the close coordination and collaboration of the security sector, government agencies, local government units, and the general public, as well as the efforts for localized peace talks with the CPP-NPA in the region.

Noting this development, Col. Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., Commander of Philippine Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade said the CPP-NPA “cannot survive without its mass base supporters.”

Col. Gaerlan encouraged the neighbors, friends and relatives of the rebel returnees who are still in the communist movement to return to the fold of the law.

“The AFP is open to welcome any rebel who wishes to return to the folds of law to live peacefully and receive financial assistance from the government,” Gaerlan said.

Gaerlan expressed his gratitude for the oath of allegiance made by the mass base supporters to the government, adding that “it is great factor to finally attain peace in our communities in the region”.

Saad Punong Barangay Jeffery Señara urged the residents in his area that it is only right to cease the support to the rebel group as it would only hamper any developments in their area.

“Let us stop supporting the CPP-NPA to make our barangay peaceful, orderly and progressive,” Señara said.

Señara noted the programs and infrastructure projects implemented by the local government unit in their barangay such as the basic services on education, healthcare including the road construction that connects the village of Saad to the Katipunan town in Zamboanga del Norte province.

“We will support the government. We cannot achieve lasting peace and development if we are not united,” Señara said. (Source: Gideon C. Corgue, Philippine Information Agency Region 9, Zamboanga del Sur)

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