The Philippine Army’s campaign to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Region 9 remains ‘vigorous’ as more rebels return to the folds of government, Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said during the recent 1st Western Mindanao Former Rebels Summit.
Sobejana said New People’s Army (NPA) rebels “sacrificed their future to wrong beliefs”.
Pointing out that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Joma Sison is continuing his struggle that brings chaos and confusion to Filipinos, Sobejana told the former NPA rebels, “sana ma-internalize niyo na ginagamit lamang kayo ng mga taong ito for their own advantage, para lamang sa kanilang kapakanan ang inyong ipinaglalaban. It is just part of the propaganda of the insurgents or what we commonly know as Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) or the News People’s Army (NPA).” (I hope you can internalize that these people are only using you for their own advantage, you are only fighting for their welfare. It is just part of the propaganda of the insurgents or what we commonly know as Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) or the News People’s Army.)
The RTF-ELCAC line government agencies and the Philippine Army expressed happiness and joy to see the former rebels reunited with their loved ones as well as for joining back with the government.
As they were warmly welcomed, the former rebels said they are hoping to end the communist acts not just in Region 9 but in the whole nation as well.
Sobejana also said that “some government troops say FR (Former Rebels) stands for ‘Friends Rescued’ but for me, FR is what we will have to deliver to our dear FRs, the “Freedom to Renew’ their goodness and ‘Freedom to be Reunited’ with your family after how many years of being imprisoned in the wrong ideologies”.
Sobejana saluted the former rebels in the said summit composed of men, women, and even some minors who surrendered and committed “to transform wounds into wisdom rather than anger and to redirect their lives” for a brighter future. (Source: PIA Zamboanga City)