With the government’s security forces’ intensified military operations and support of various stakeholders, four NPA militias voluntarily surrendered in Barangay Rogongon, Iligan City on February 28, 2019.
The successful surrender of the four NPA members was facilitated by the combined efforts of the Philippine Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion (51IB) led by Lt. Col. Jasper Edward Obar and the 5th Infantry Battalion (5IB) led by Lt. Col. Ryan Severo.
The said rebel returnees also surrendered their firearms consisting of one US M1 Garand rifle, one carbine rifle, one 9mm Ingram sub-machine gun, and one shotgun as well as magazines and ammunitions.
“Based on the revelation of the four militias, they decided to surrender because of the hardships they are experiencing in the mountains and they are tired of hiding from the government forces conducting military operations,” Lt. Col. Obar said.
They also learned about the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) where stakeholders are working together with the Philippine Army in order to help in rebuilding the lives of the former rebels.
“Nabalitaan din po namin na may programa ang gobyerno na E-CLIP para sa mga mag balik-loob kaya napag-isipan namin mag-surrender sa mga sundalo (We also heard about the E-CLIP of the government which is intended for those who will return to the folds of the government. That’s why we decided to surrender to the soldiers),” said Rebi, one of the rebel returness.
“We warmly welcome the four NPA militias who realized that their lives with the Communist NPA Terrorist will lead nowhere. We will ensure that they will be provided with the necessary assistance through E-CLIP,” said Col. Ezra James Enriquez, commander of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade.
Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan commander, commended the troops for the successful surrender of the NPA militias.
“We encourage other NPAs to return to the folds of the law and help us in sustaining the development programs of our government,” Brig. Gen. Ancan said.
“We are calling them to bring down their firearms and avail of the E-CLIP of the government and enjoy their life together with their families,” Brig. Gen. Ancan said.