Min­doro in­sur­gents sur­ren­der

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - NATION - BY KRISTINA MARALIT @tri­bunephl_tina

As gov­ern­ment ef­forts to erad­i­cate lo­cal com­mu­nist armed con­flict in South­ern Ta­ga­log con­tinue, eight more New Peo­ple’s Army (NPA) mem­bers yielded to se­cu­rity forces in Bu­lala­cao, Ori­en­tal Min­doro.

The sur­ren­der was the re­sult of lo­cal­ized peace ne­go­ti­a­tion in­volv­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies, Armed Forces of the Philip­pines, Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice and com­mu­nist in­sur­gents.

Lt. Col. Alexan­der Ar­bo­lado, 4th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion com­mand­ing of­fi­cer, iden­ti­fied the sur­ren­der­ers as alias Tik­ling, Da­mang, Urang, Malata, Ka­gang, Bir­jak, Udang and RJay.

Their true iden­ti­ties were with­held as part of the se­cu­rity pro­to­col against reprisals of their former com­rades. They be­longed to the NPA’s Kilu­sang Larangang Ger­ilya MAV.

Ar­bo­lado said the former rebels will un­dergo En­hanced Com­pre­hen­sive Lo­cal In­te­gra­tion Pro­gram (E-CLIP) en­rol­ment process, in­clud­ing needs as­sess­ment, pro­fil­ing and coun­sel­ing by health pro­fes­sion­als in prepa­ra­tion for their rein­te­gra­tion to so­ci­ety led by the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment (DSWD).

Un­der the pro­gram, each former rebel will re­ceive cash as­sis­tance of P15,000. They are also el­i­gi­ble for ad­di­tional com­pen­sa­tion in the form of ed­u­ca­tional grants, health ser­vices, em­ploy­ment and hous­ing, among oth­ers.

To date, the mil­i­tary, par­tic­u­larly the 2nd In­fantry Divi­sion which has ju­ris­dic­tion over the CALABARZON Re­gion, has listed 234 mili­tias that vol­un­tar­ily sur­ren­dered, rais­ing the num­ber of to­tal NPA sur­ren­ders to 674 since the E-CLIP was im­ple­mented in 2016 in South­ern Ta­ga­log.

In Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, hours af­ter the

Philip­pine Army 62nd In­fantry Bat­tal­ion clashed with mem­bers of the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines-New Peo­ple’s Army in Can­laon City, el­e­ments of the 94th and 11th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion had a sep­a­rate en­counter with at least a dozen com­mu­nist-ter­ror­ists at Si­tio Amian in Barangay Tan-awan, Ka­bankalan City, over the week­end.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened while the mil­i­tary was con­duct­ing clearing com­bat op­er­a­tions in re­sponse to re­ports from res­i­dents about the pres­ence of in­sur­gents do­ing re­cruit­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in the moun­tain­ous area of Ka­bankalan City and in ad­ja­cent Ayun­gon town.

The suc­ces­sive en­coun­ters should not sug­gest a wors­ened peace and or­der sit­u­a­tion in the is­land of Ne­gros but an in­di­ca­tion that our units have been hit­ting them very ef­fec­tively.

The fire­fight lasted for about nearly half an hour with rebels re­treat­ing later on. No ca­su­al­ties were re­ported from the gov­ern­ment side.

Re­cov­ered from the en­counter site were high-pow­ered firearms, as­sorted mag­a­zines with am­mu­ni­tions, three mo­bile phones, a so­lar panel, as­sorted medicines and med­i­cal para­pher­na­lia, sub­ver­sive doc­u­ments and per­sonal be­long­ings.

“The suc­ces­sive en­coun­ters should not sug­gest a wors­ened peace and or­der sit­u­a­tion in the is­land of Ne­gros but an in­di­ca­tion that our units have been hit­ting them very ef­fec­tively. Our sol­diers in­tend to pur­sue them wher­ever they are in or­der to free the com­mu­ni­ties from their il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties,” Maj. Gen. Eric Vi­noya, com­man­der of the 3rd In­fantry Divi­sion, said.

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