A total of 150 members and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), and various underground mass organizations surrendered to authorities and pledged loyalty to the country in Mawab, Davao de Oro on Friday,
Of the surrenderees, 10 were regular NPA members, 40 were from Sangay ng Partido (SP) sa Lokalidad, 30 from Milisya ng Bayan, and 70 were mass supporters from the villages of Andili, Concepcion, Sawangan, and Malinawon, said Lieutenant Colonel Sonny Gonzales, commanding officer of the 71st Infantry Battalion (71IB).
In a program held in Mawab town, Gonzales emphasized that peace and order “is not just an obligation of the men in uniform but a shared responsibility” by the communities.
“Denouncing the CPP-NPA and re-assuring the government of your loyalty is a good start in attaining genuine peace where the next of our generation will be the ones to benefit,” he said.
The surrenderees underwent a three-day lecture and workshop which included psychosocial, spiritual enhancement, and technical training from the Technological Skills and Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employmment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The military said one of the surrenderees, alias “Joy,” related her experience in being deceived by the NPA who lured poor members of the communities in Davao to join the communist groups.
“They promised financial support of P800 for each of my two children so I joined as it would be of help for me as a single mother,” Joy was quoted as saying by the military.
The military said Joy used to be a medical officer of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) of the Southern Regional Committee 2 (SRC 2), a front organization of NPA in Davao de Oro.
Local officials of Mawab led by Mayor Ruperto Gonzaga III congratulated the surrenderees as they “answered the call of the government to start anew and live a peaceful life.”