Sun, 23 Feb 2020

Local peace engagement works, NPA leaders surrender in Bukidnon

Philippine Information Agency
20 Jan 2020, 04:38 GMT+10

VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon, Jan. 16 (PIA) - "We concede to government's CSP," confessed Resylyn Pardo a.ka. Jamby, the Secretary of CPP-NPA's (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) Guerrilla Front 6 (GF6) or the so-called Bukidnon Command.

Jamby said the way they were treated by soldiers was contrary to what they were told by their senior cadre that they would be raped or tortured once they surrender.

Guerilla Front 6 Secretary is the NPA's political organ tasked to radicalize and turn them into militants. GF6 covers a city and six towns in southern Bukidnon namely Valencia City, San Fernando, Kitaotao, Maramag, Don Carlos, Dangcagan and Quezon.

Resylyn, 28 years old was joined by her husband, Renante Tumbalang alias Jigger or War, 37 years old, the commander or "CO" of GF6's Front Operational Command who said they have lost the sympathy of the local populace and the tribes, which significantly affected their morale.

The couple revealed that the loss of mass base constricted them in the mountains. They cannot "disperse" their forces anymore, which made them weak and vulnerable to be tracked down due to the government troops' non-stop offensive operations in their mountain lairs.

"The death of Commander Amana in one of the major encounters with the Army was very demoralizing," Jigger said.

Jamby, likewise, said that last year (2019), their higher political organ tasked them to regain their lost initiative. "Hindi kami nakapag gawaing-masa at gawaing militar. Natigil ang aming KalMas (Kalihokang Masa) pati ang ArPak (Armadong Pakigbisog) dahil nauubos na ang aming organisadong masa at mga sanga ng partido sa lokal. Nag focus kami sa recovery pero hindi namin magawa dahil ayaw na kaming tulungan ng mga tao sa Barrio. Yung 25,000 na baseng masa na itinayo namin ng ilang taon, humiwalay na sa amin. Yung 18 na KRB (Komiteng Rebolusyonaryo sa Barrio) na pinaghirapan namin, nalusaw lahat," added Jamby, claiming that she used to be the record holder in the number of KRBs established by North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), the CPP's party organ in Northern Mindanao.

Following the creation of Region 10 Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict that was launched in Bukidnon in July 2019, local government units (LGUs) in Region 10 were tapped to initiate "Localized Peace Engagement." Elected officials were sought to intervene and encourage NPA members who are also their constituents to take the path to peace and participate in governance as resource persons for the socio-economic programs of the LGUs.

Valencia City LGU was key to alias Jamby and alias Jigger's return to the fold of the law. The LGU's efforts paved the way when the couple sought the assistance of barangay Banlag Kagawad Saliezer Dejos and Valencia City Mayor Azucena Huervas as the former rebels expressed their desire to quit from the communist movement.

Assisted by Bukidnon 4th District Cong. Rogelio Neil Roque, Valencia LGU immediately arranged for the safe surrender of the couple and five others in an undisclosed place.

They were eventually turned over to 88th Infantry Battalion (88IB) and 403rd Infantry Brigade for enrolment in Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.

"Nagpapasalamat po kami sa Provincial Government ng Bukidnon at sa City Government ng Valencia dahil sila ang naging bukas na pinto para sa pagbabagong buhay ng mga kapatid natin na naligaw ng landas. Ito ay isang patunay na mas epektibo ang 'local level' na usaping pangkapayapaan, halos isang linggo lang ang negosasyon, nagbalik loob na sila. Ang national level peacetalks, nagumpisa nung 1986, hanggang ngayon wala pa ring kapayapaan sa ating bansa. Ito pong local integration program ay sang-ayon sa kagustuhan at utos ng ating Commander-in-Chief President Duterte at ito po ay nagtatagumpay. Nagpapasalamat din po kami sa tulong at inisyatiba ni Congressman Neil Roque at sya rin ay naging daan sa pagbabagong buhay ng mga rebelde," said BGen Edgardo De Leon, the Commander of 403rd Brigade covering the provinces of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, and Camiguin, to include Cagayan de Oro City.

Major General Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4th Infantry Division Commander said "Our war is not focused on winning battles through the barrel of guns. Ours is a peaceful war involving communities in conflict-affected areas. Our constituents and we, together with local leaders, join hands and commit to battle land issues, poverty, and other problems through dialogue with the right people, organization, and agency. We commend the 403rd Bde and the 88IB, and the local government unit of Bukidnon for winning the peaceful war."

Jamby and Jigger along with their five other colleagues were presented by Valencia City LGU to Gov. Jose Ma Zubiri Jr, as Provincial Chairman of the E-CLIP committee.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office was tasked to determine the package of assistance that would suit the needs of former rebels, whom the military now calls "Kauban sa kalinaw ug kalamboan." (Cpt. Ryan D. Layug, 403rd Inf Bde, 4ID, PA)

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