BAGUIO CITY (September 8, 2020) – Five communist rebels in Cagayan Valley and 3 more in the Cordillera surrendered to authorities over the weekend, thus thinning the already dwindling ranks of the underground movement in Northern Luzon, government security forces said.
Five NPA rebels in San Mariano, Isabela turned themselves in to joint forces of Philippine Army’s 95th Infantry Battalion and Cagayan Valley police on Sunday only identified as “Ka Renato”, “Ka Jaime”, “Ka Kanoy”, “Ka Butoc” and “Ka Didag”. They are all former members of sub Guerilla Unit of Central Front Committee of the Komiteng Rehiyong-Cagayan Valley, the 5th Infantry Division said. Three of them belong to the Agta Indigenous People of Isabela who were recruited along the Sierra Madre mountain range.
Lt. Col. Gladiuz Calilan, commander of 95th Infantry Battalion said that the five, who claimed to have been hard-up in their situation as rebels being pursued by government forces, will be enrolled in the “Salaknib Former Rebels Integrated Farmers’ Association (SFRIFA)” for them to start anew.
Three communist guerillas including a woman, who was recruited from a state college in Mt. Province, also surrendered to the Cordillera police on Sunday.
“Ka Moises/Kamandag from Purok 2, San Juan, Tabuk City in Kalinga, was introduced to the underground movement when he was 12 years old and became a full-time New Peoples Army guerilla in 2012 completing the NPA’s “Batayang Kursong Pangmilitar” (Basic Military Course), said Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. RWin Pagkalinawan.
The young rebel was accordingly trained on explosives by an instructor from Mindanao and at a young age, he was exposed in the battle field and witnessed a lot of killings.
His last deployment was allegedly the “Yunit Sentro” (Central Unit) of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya “Baggas” (codename for Kalinga province), of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee of the CPP-NPA.
While 22 alias “Ka Alex”, from Barangay Duagan, Tadian, Mt. Province, turned herself in after suffering from difficulties in the rebel movement.
Pagkalinawan said “Ka Alex” was enticed to join the rebel movement in 2018 right from the Mt. Province State Polytechnic College, hence abandoning her dream to become a police officer.
While under the rebel movement, she was assistance medic and logistics officer of the Platoon “Anvil”, KLG “Ampis” (Abra-Mt. Province-Ilocos Sur) stationed along the tri-boundaries.
She handed over an M1 US caliber 30 Carbine rifle with serial no. INLAND DIV. 169757, two magazines for the same rifle and four ammunitions.
While 35 year old “Ka Barto”, a native of Basao, Tinglayan, Kalinga, gave up citing he “just lost his youth to the rebel movement for nothing”.
Joining the NPA in 2007 while he was a junior in the high school in Mt. Province, “Ka Barto” became a political instructor of the KLG “Marco” (codename for Mt. Province), operating long Sagada, Bontoc, Sadanga (in Mt. Province) and Tinglayan, Kalinga.
But he ran away from his comrades to become a youth organizer and recruiter of the youth in his village to become NPA rebels.
He also turned in an M2 US Caliber 30 carbine rifle with defaced serial number, two magazines and four ammunitions.
The latest surrenders, authorities said, is yet another proof of the losing steam of the rebel movement in the Cordillera and nearby areas.
Artemio A. Dumlao