‘Surge of rebel surrenders continue in northern Philippines

BAGUIO CITY (September 5, 2021)—The Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) on Sunday bared they are looking at the near end of the communist rebellion in Northern and Central Luzon citing the surge of rebel surrenders.
Nolcom disclosed that for the first 5 days of September alone, seven NPA rebels and supporters had already surrendered and yielded eight firearms.   This, apart from the 595 former rebels who surrendered from January 1- August 31 this year hauling 235 firearms.
The most recent, Nolcom said, is Saturday’s surrender of two communist rebels from
the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) “AMPIS” at Barangay Amtuagan and Barangay Tubtuba both of Tubo, Abra.  The rebels yielded three M1 Garand Rifles, one Carbine Rifle, one Springfield Rifle, two magazines, and assorted live ammunitions.
Earlier on September 3, two NPA supporters also surrendered at Barangay Disulap, San Mariano in Isabela. They yielded two M16 Rifles to the government troops, as they denounced their support to the NPA.
Apart from its sustained internal security operations and community support program, NOLCOM recognized the growing support of the community to the government’s fight against the communist terrorists as a contributing factor in the continuous influx of rebel surrenders.
It cited successes with the implementation of several community development projects under the Barangay Development Program (BDP) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC).
Lasr March 24, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Barangay Babalag East, Rizal, Kalinga for the construction of Water Work System, Health Station, and Concreting of Farm to Market Road.  These projects are under the BDP of NTF ELCAC aimed to address the issues of the community being allegedly exploited by the NPA “to agitate the people and entice them to go against the government.”
Also on July 16, another groundbreaking ceremony for the implementation of another set of BDP projects was conducted at Barangay Baluarte, Salcedo, and Barangay Nagbettedan, Santo Domingo both in Ilocos Sur.  The projects include Farm to Market Roads; Public Toilets, School Buildings; and Barangay Health Centers.
Nolcom chief Lieutenant General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, said “the end of NPA’s reign of terror in Northern and Central Luzon is in sight.  It’s only a matter of time that the NPA’s will be totally eradicated in this part of the country.”
He added that “The growing support of the community to the government’s fight against the communist terrorist is a big factor that significantly contributed to our effort in ending the local communist armed conflict in Northern and Central Luzon.
They helped us send our message of hope while encouraging their families, friends, and loved ones who have been deceived by the terrorist group to lay down their arms and abandon their armed struggle.”
Burgos ended by renewed his call to the remnants of the communist movement and their supporters, “the government has heard your pleas and has implemented several programs to address your concerns. Now is the time for you to heed the call of the government. Lay down your arms and abandon your armed struggle. Think of your families, think of their future. Christmas is fast approaching, they will be happier and more fulfilled this season of joy with you at their side.”
Artemio A. Dumlao