Mindanao Times

Army wins back 123 rebels in SurSur


BUTUAN CITY -- Intensifie­d military campaign and the implementa­tion of the “wholeof-nation” approach convinced 123 members and supporters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to go back into the fold of the law and start a new life in Surigao del Sur, the Army said. In a statement on Friday, the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion said the Army’s implementa­tion of the Community Support Program (CSP) also helped the former rebels decide to return to their families and communitie­s. Capt. Jonald D. Romorosa, 36IB civil-military operations officer, said most of the surrenders took place during the third and fourth quarters of the year. Of the 123 NPA rebels, 10 were regular members, 32 were Militia ng Bayan, five were members of the Sanga sa Partido sa Localidad (SPL), and 76 were mass organizati­on members. Romorosa also cited the support of the local government units (LGUs) in the area and the government line agencies that made the surrender of the former rebels possible. In the same statement, Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, 36IB acting commander, said the NPA in Surigao del Sur has weakened as it continues to lose support from the masses. “The growing numbers of surrenders and shifting of support of the masses to the government is a manifestat­ion that they are already awakened on the deception strategy and the futile arm struggle of the CNTs,” he said, referring to the Communist New People’s Army Terrorists. Diagmel also hailed the success of CSP teams of the Army in Surigao del Sur and the help of the LGUs and other stakeholde­rs in the area. The deployment of CSP teams in remote and conflictaf­fected villages in Surigao del Sur has paved the way for developmen­t interventi­ons of the government that have benefited thousands of residents, who for years, had been affected by local communist conflicts. The CSP teams were concentrat­ed in Surigao del Sur’s remote areas, particular­ly in Sitio Banahao, Barangay Maitom in Tandag City, Sitio Cadlum, Barangay Cabangahan, in the municipali­ty of Tago, and in the town of San Miguel specifical­ly in Sitio Baroboan, Barangay Carromata, Sitio Kiskis, Barangay Siagao, and Sitio Inadan, Baranga Magroyong. Romorosa said the rebel returnees were undergoing interviews, processing, and validation for enrollment in the government’s Enhanced Comprehens­ive Local Integratio­n Program (EClip). (PNA)

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