After her surrender to the government forces, Anne Margarette Tauli, a high ranking member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), thanked and accepted the government assistance, and assured that it will be given back to the people of their community in Besao, Mountain Province.
“I’m accepting this assistance since this is also from the people and will be given back to the people through our projects in Besao where we started before Covid, some projects for progress and peace in our town,” Tauli said.
During the ceremony on July 2 at the Baguio City Hall, Tauli described the process that she went through as “tough and grueling”, but expressed her appreciation to the people who were instrumental in her surrender.
“I’d like also to thank General (Hermogenes) Esperon and (Baguio City) Mayor (Benjamin) Magalong, Generals (Henry) Doyaoen and (R’win) Pagkalinawan for this process that I went through which was cordial and tough, of course grueling, but which ended up with this, by allowing me to go back to our town,” she said.
Magalong, who is also the Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council Chairman, recognized Tauli for “making the right choice”.
He told Tauli that they were on the same boat but on the different sides of the spectrum, as she is on the left and Magalong, as a former law enforcer and now a local chief executive, was on the right.
He added that he understands the sentiments of those on the side against the government, but that there is another way to attain true and lasting peace.
“We understand your stand, but there will come a time that you really have to make a choice, that is, support the legitimate government and advocate for peace, because if there is anyone, anybody who really wants peace in this country, probably these are the soldiers and the policemen who are really fighting and sacrificing their lives,” Magalong said.
Tauli is excited to go back to her clan and community, who are all waiting for her return as well.
She said that she fully understands now the context of the government’s whole-of-nation approach for just and lasting peace and that she is looking towards some progress so that there won’t be any need for a large military solution to the problem.
Tauli expressed her acceptance of the program and work towards peace and progress, amid the aggravating effect of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) to the situation of the people.
Magalong said that as the government and the leftist movement have the same goal of attaining peace, he invited Tauli to help the government get in touch with the members of the movement “and finally convince them that they can make a choice, and that particular choice is probably to start with dialogue”.
“The only way we will be able to come up with a negotiation, just like in any conflict areas is, people, need to talk to each other and that is what I am offering now to the members of the communist movement. Let us talk,” he said. (Marita Moaje, PNA)