Ex-rebels belie claims gov’t forces torture NPA surrenderers

Former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) belied claims that government forces tortured and maltreated former communist rebels who went back to the fold of the law.

Former NPA rebels Ivylyn Corpin alias “Ka Ivy” (left) and Rey Christian Sabado alias “Chan-chan” (right). (Screengrab from Pros and Cons)

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During the “Pros and Cons” television show aired on December 13, 2020, Ivylyn Corpin alias Ka Ivy, said government security forces are sincere in their commitment to achieving lasting peace as they encouraged more rebels to surrender.

Corpin added surrenderers are actually getting various benefits from the government when they decide to quit the armed struggle.

She said personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are assisting former rebels “to get back on their feet” and live the life they used to have.

“Binabago talaga ng gobyerno yung kasalukuyan na sistema para lang sa kabutihan ng mga mamamayan (The government has changed the current system for the common of the Filipino citizens),” she added.

Exposing the truth

Corpin said she was a student activist from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) when she joined the communist armed movement.

She said a series of recruitment processes were organized by the CPP-NPA’s legal front organizations to agitate more youth to join their cause.

These recruitment schemes include rallies, mass mobilization and community immersions, eventually pushing the youth to join movement, Corpin said.

Meanwhile, Rey Christian Sabado alias “Chan-chan,” also a former NPA rebel, said the communist group, through its legal front organizations, is maneuvering the mindset of the youth to recruit more members.

Sabado said the front groups made him believed that he should protect the democratic interest of the youth by participating in militant activities.

Corpin and Sabado said at first, they were not aware of such recruitment schemes.

Sabado said he became a member of the Kabataang Makabayan, an underground mass organization that he said directly supports the communist armed movement.

He said there is a systematic recruitment process being done within the CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front (NDF).

Quit communist insurgency

The former NPA members urged various student activists to withdraw their support to the alleged legal front organizations of the CPP-NPA-NDF, saying “they will not gain something good from joining this unreasonable cause.”

“Sa mga kabataan na hinihikayat ng CPP-NPA-NDF o mga miyembro na ng mga legal na organisasyon na ito, mag-withdraw na tayo ng suporta sa kanila. Kung nire-recruit pa lang po tayo, huwag na natin sila i-entertain. Hindi naman po tayo papabayaan ng gobyerno—yung napatunayan po namin yan na mga FR [former rebels] na hindi totoo na tinotorture, sinaktan, binubog o lini-liquidate ang mga nagsu-surrender (To individuals who are being encouraged by the CPP-NPA-NDF or current members of these legal-front organizations, withdraw your support. If you are still in the recruitment process, don’t entertain them. The government will not abandon us because we have proven that—as former rebels, it’s not true that those surrenderers were tortured, harmed, beaten, and executed),” Corpin said.

Meanwhile, Sabado urged students who are still part of the NPA’s legal front groups “not to waste their skills, talents, and intellects” by engaging themselves with the communist insurgency.

“Kapulutan sana natin ng leksyon, ng aral iyong mga naging karanasan namin ni Ka Ivy, Ka Amihan at ng iba’t-iba pang mga former rebel na nagpapatotoo na kung ano na po ba talaga yung mukha nitong CPP-NPA-NDF doon sa mga legal front organizations na iyon (May we learn lessons from our experiences with Ka Ivy, Ka Amihan and those other former rebels who are testifying to the real intentions of the CPP-NPA-NDF along with their legal front organizations),” said Sabado.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (Lade Jean Kabagani, PNA)

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