Exodus from NPA ranks crippling Communist movement in Soccsksargen – PNP

Published January 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Joseph Jubelag

GENERAL SANTOS CITY- The exodus from the ranks of the New People’s Army (NPA) has adversely crippled the Communist movement in the region covering South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City or Soccsksargen.

This was disclosed by Police Lt.Col. Christopher Bermudez, regional chief of the PNP-Regional   Intelligence Unit-12, as he bared that more 80 rebels operating in Soccskargen surrendered in 2019, and availed of peace and development initiatives offered by the Duterte administration.

He said personnel of the PNP-RIU-12 were able to facilitate the surrender of the NPA rebels who wanted to return to mainstream society, and avail of the peace initiatives under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) undertaken by the local government units.

He stressed that the implementation of the Executive Order No.70 issued by President Duterte to put an end to local insurgency problem in the countryside had prompted the local Communist rebels to lay down their arms and abandon the underground group.

Bermudez said many of the NPA surrenderers were convinced that President Duterte was determined to address the root cause of the local insurgency which included poverty and social injustice.

He said the government’s whole-of-the-nation-approach to combat local insurgency highlighted Duterte’s resolve to address local insurgency through the effective delivery of government’s basic services and projects in impoverished communities where there is presence of NPA rebels.

Under the Enhanced CLIP program, Bermudez said the NPA surrenderers will be given emergency cash and livelihood assistance, firearm remuneration, scholarship and housing programs.

“These peace and development initiatives are luring NPA rebels to pledge their allegiance to the government,” Bermudez said.

For this year, RIU-12 operatives captured last week two local NPA commanders identified as Ngo Magaw and Bwen Malantaw, team leader and platoon leader, respectively of NPA Guerilla Front 73 operating in Maitum, Sarangani.

The suspects are facing murder charges in connection with the killing of Pastor Salvador Sebastian on December 15, 2000 in Barangay Kalaneg, Maitum.

RIU -12 personnel had also facilitated the surrender of at least 11 more NPA members operating in the towns of Lake Sebu and Banga in South Cotabato.

The NPA surrenderers also yielded two fragmentation grenades, two .45 caliber pistols and two .38 caliber revolvers.