BUTUAN CITY, July 1 (PIA) -- Forty-eight former members of the communist New People's Army (NPAs) consist of 42 members of Guerrilla Front 4A (GF4A) operating in the areas of Las Nieves, Buenavista, Nasipit, Carmen in the province of Agusan del Norte, Gingoog City, and Butuan City; and six members from the Guerrilla Front 88 (GF88) operating in the areas of Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon have signed a manifesto withdrawing their support to the communist terrorist group (CTG).
The former rebels (FRs) have decided to go back to the government to have a peaceful life with their families.
Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera thanked the FRs for deciding to go back to the government. He also asked them to be a partner of the province's development.
"I am asking you to support us in ending the insurgency problem in our place," he said. The governor then read the pledge of withdrawal of support and requested them to raise their right hand in front of the other provincial officials, police personnel, and media partners and to sincerely pledge their withdrawal of support to the communist terrorist group.
Col. Cerilo C. Balaoro, Jr., the deputy brigade commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, also asked the FRs to help in convincing their former comrades to go back to the folds of the law and help in their peace initiatives. "I urged you to help stop the armed struggle and let's give peace a chance," he said.
The FRs also recited the Panunumpa sa Watawat ng Pilipinas led by Agusan del Norte 2nd district representative Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba. "By reciting this, you are now again a Filipino that not only love peace, but want to give peace to our fellow Filipinos, be an instrument of change and help the police and the military to stop local communist armed conflict in order to live peacefully," she said.
In showing their sincere intention of going back and supporting the government in their fight against terrorism, the FRs also burned the CTG's flag at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Caraga grandstand.
PBGen. Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr., regional director of PNP Caraga, thanked the FRs for their acts of signing the manifesto of withdrawal of support to the CTG. He was also confident that the government is winning against the terrorist group.
Meanwhile, because of the acts shown by the FRs and while the government is still validating and processing their Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) benefits, Rep. Matba and Gov. Corvera gave cash assistance to the 48 and the seven newly-surrendered FRs. (NCL/PIA Agusan del Norte)