By Mike Crismundo
CAMP DATU LIPUS MAKAPANDONG, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur – A heavily armed Communist New People’s Army Terrorist (CNT) couple surrendered to the Army’s 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion (26th IB) in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, Capt. Paulo C. Agda, Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer of the 26th IB said Monday.
The 26th IB CMO officer said the couple surrendered with one AK47 Rifle, one US M1 Carbine Rifle, and live ammunition.
Identities of the couple are temporarily withheld for security reason.
However, Capt. Agda said the husband, 25, and the wife, 34, were former regular members of Guerilla Front Committee 89 that operates in the boundaries of Bukidnon province, and San Luis and Esperanza of Agusan del Sur province.
He said the couple surrendered to 26th IB after realizing that joining the NPA was not the solution to poverty.
“The sincerity also of President Duterte to attain long-lasting peace motivated the couple to lay down their firearms to contribute for the peaceful resolution of armed conflict and violence particularly in the IP communities where they belonged,” Capt. Agda said.
The couple decided to abandon the NPA organization due to their miserable experience and by waiting for too long the promises of the underground movement, he said.
According to aka Ruben “Nahadlok na kaayu mi sa akung asawa kay daghan na sa amoang mga kaubanan ang nangamatay, gutom na kaayu ug grabe kapait ang among gibati, way tarong nga kaon ug tulog ug hangtod karon ang gipasalig nga suporta sa akung pamilya wala pa nakaabot” (My wife and I are afraid because many of our comrades were already killed, hungry, no enough sleep and until now the promised support to our family has not been realized), Capt. Agda said.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Romeo C. Jimenea, commanding officer of the26th IB stressed his commitment to help the newly surrendered NPA fighters through the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (ECLIP) and so with other previously surrendered NPAs.
“We encourage everyone still blinded with the false promises of the NPA Terrorists to go down and surrender peacefully and to live a normal life with your family and loved ones. The ECLIP has so much to offer for a new life, ” said the 26th IB commander, in a statement also sent to The Manila Bulletin.