Five members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Amy (CPP-NPA) in Eastern Visayas have surrendered to authorities and yielded their firearms, police officials said on December 9, 2020.
BACK TO THE FOLD OF LAW. Police officials talk to five former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Amy (CPP-NPA) who surrendered to authorities. Three cal.45 pistols and a 5.56mm Bushmaster assault rifle were also surrendered by the returning CPP-NPA members. (Photo courtesy of PNP-PIO)
Reports reaching the PNP Command Center from Eastern Visayas PNP Regional Director, Brig. Gen. Ronaldo de Jesus said the ex-rebels were identified as Ma. Rechiel Yrigon, Ronalyn Capoquian, Francisco Dacles, Rio Bersola and Apolonio Pabilando Jr.
The rebel-returnees were formerly operating in the Samar island under the SRC Browser, and Jorge Bolita Command of the CPP-NPA Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee.
De Jesus said the ex-rebels are undergoing debriefing and processing of possible government benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
Three cal.45 pistols and a 5.56mm Bushmaster assault rifle were also surrendered by the returning CPP-NPA members.
PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said the PNP continues to welcome CPP-NPA-NDF members who wish to return to the fold of the law.
“In the spirit of the season, the PNP will welcome and provide assistance to CPP-NPA members who will lay down their arms and come down from the hills to join their families for the traditional holiday. We understand where they are coming from and the government is offering them this life-changing opportunity,” Sinas said in a statement.
Sinas said Executive Order No. 70 creating the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict offers opportunities for rebel returnees to reintegrate with society as useful and empowered citizens under a democratic and free society.
Meanwhile, Sinas said, taking the cue from President Rodrigo Duterte’s rejection of a Yuletide ceasefire with the NPA, the PNP would continue to mount police operations against the group. (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan, PNA)