TACLOBAN CITY – At least 282 members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Silvino Lubos in Northern Samar have surrendered to the army.
LtCol Fernando Engcot, commander of 19th Infantry Battalion, said that the mass surrender and withdrawal of support are strong indicators of the NPA-terrorists’ nearing defeat in Northern Samar province.
“This mass surrender of Milisya ng Bayan and party members from the different NPA-affiliated mass organizations is a testament that the communist-terrorists no longer enjoy the mass base support in these areas,” he said.
A total of 65 members of Batakang Batakang Organisayon ng Pampartido (BOP), 65 Yunit Militia (YM), and 152 Legal na Organisadong Masa (LOM) pledged allegiance to the government as they conducted a peace rally in the entire town proper of Silvino Lubos to condemn the NPAs.
The Underground Mass Organization (UGMOs) and mass base supporters also burned flags of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Engcot said the mass surrender is not the end of their anti-insurgency campaign in the municipality.
“Let us raise our flag, the Philippine Flag, as our identity that we are all Filipinos who deserve a long-lasting and harmonious way of living,” he urged.
Engcot noted that the mass withdrawal of support from the NPA-terrorists is the result of the unit’s deployment of the Community Support Program (CSP) team to sixteen (16) barangays since last March 03 under the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) 70.
In 2015, Silvino Lubos was listed under Level 4 with the highest poverty incidence among the population with 78.5 percent according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.