Wed, 06 Jul 2022

TACLOBAN CITY - The recent surrender of a team leader and a member of the New People's Army has further weakened the communist terrorist group in Eastern Samar, an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.

Lt. Col. Joy Leanza, commander of the PNP's 1st Eastern Samar police mobile force company (ESPMFC) based in Dolores town, said the strength of the NPA has been weakening almost daily.

"Clearly, a large portion of the communist membership was reduced as almost every day, NPAs ceded to the government forces in all parts of the country. Their organization has weakened due to the aggressive campaign of the task force to end local communist armed conflict and the attractive full package guaranteed by the government's livelihood program for former rebels," Leanza said in a statement.

The official issued the statement two days after the surrender of "Ka Ebir", a team leader of NPA's squad in Eastern Samar, and "Ka Ogis", an active NPA member in the province. They are both residents of Dolores town.

"Ka Ogis" handed over a fragmentation grenade while "Ka Ebir" gave up his 9mm pistol to authorities when they showed up at the ESPMFC headquarters.

The two admitted that testimonies from their former comrades about the government's sincerity to help rebels has encouraged them to lay down their firearms.

"Both surrenderers admitted to being swindled by ideologies fed by the NPAs that were all hoaxes and devoid of truth. They were recruited and became full-time members of the NPA when they were still minors," Leanza added.

The surrender of rebels to the authorities is a wake-up call to their comrades who are still hiding in the mountains to abandon the NPA, the official said.

"With open arms, we welcome our NPA brothers and sisters who wish to start a new life. The government will give them all the benefits and necessary assistance," Leanza said.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as "an integral and inseparable part" of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)

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