Gov’t collaborates in enlightenment against NPAs Deception in SurNor

KITCHARAO, Agusan del Norte- As part of the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) of the Situational Awareness and Knowledge Management Cluster of the National Management Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the 29th Infantry (Matatag Fighters) Battalion under the 901st Infantry (Fight ‘Em) Brigade in collaboration with the Local Government of Surigao City,the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) 10 and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Province of Surigao del Norte jointly led the conduct of Information Caravan on February 24, 2021, to enlighten the Surigaonons against the deceitful tactics of Communist Terrorists Group (CTGs) in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

This was attended to by the Sangguniang Panglungsod, all 54 Punong Barangays and their respective Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairs, 30 select business owners and available employees of the City Hall. This was graced with the welcome remarks of the City Mayor,Hon. Ernesto Matugas Jr., followed by the message of BGen George L Banzon, Commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade and Hon. Francisco “Lalo” T. Matugas, Governor of Surigao del Norte.

During the event Hon. Ernesto Matugas Jr. gave his opening remarks which gave highlights on the importance of Executive Order (EO70) in which he explained, “This gathering is made to inform everyone of what is EO70 that aims to break the cycle of insurgency in our community and to quell the communist movement and their roots. We all have individual roles and I am hoping that you will know the importance of each and everyone for this program EO70 in order to be successful and effective in ending the fight against communism.”

NICA Regional Director Manuel M Orduña of NICA 10 discussed the implementation of EO70, NPA’s process of recruitment, and the Anti-Terrorism Act. The discussion was then supplemented with the testimony of alias @No name and his wife alias @Wella, both former rebels who have shared their awful experiences with the CNTs and the mighty change that had happened in their lives soon after they surrendered to the government. TESDA Surigao del Norte, Provincial Director Catalina O. Tacubao discussed various programs and training that the office has been providing and is willing to offer for those who will surrender.

Gov. Francisco “Lalo” T. Matugas said in his statement, “Tungod kang alias@Wella atleast nahibal-an nato unsaon pagrecruit sa NPA hinaut unta nga dili nata madaya ug ang ilang eksperhensya unta kahibayo na kita aron di nato sundon.”(Because of alias @Wella atleast we already knew how the NPA recruits. I am hoping that we won’t be deceived and their experience have given us knowledge so we won’t emulate them.)

Alias @No Name shared in his testimony,”Ining mga NPA, mao ni sila ang gahatag ug problema sa atoa.Sila gahimo ra ug bakak para makapangilad ug makadaut ug kinabuhi sa laing tao ilabi na sa mga kabatan-onan.” (NPA is the one who gives burden to us. They only makes lies just to deceive and destroy the lives of the people especially of the youth.)

Moreover, alias @Wella also testified,”Pagsurrender nako, ayha pako nakasinati ug kabag-ohan sa akong kinabuhi. Makaingon gyud ko nga naa ko sa saktong dalan, lahi sa kinabuhi nga akong nasinatian ug nabatyagan sauna samtang naa pako galihok sa bukid.” (After I surrendered, I experienced drastic changes. I can say that I am on the right path, different from the life that I have lived before when I was still moving in the mountains.)

LtCol. Aristotle F Antonio, Acting Commanding Officer of 29IB, boldly said in his statement, “As your Army, we are ever willing to pay with our own lives the prize it may take to win the peace; but I ask each and everyone, are you willing to help us end the local communist armed conflict? This war against insurgency is not just ours alone. Nonetheless, we do not require you to take up arms, but we rather ask for your strong commitment to abandon any support that you’re giving to the CTG’s. Peace awaits and it will come but only to those who deserve it.”

Likewise, BGen George L Banzon said, “Ang pagsulti nan sa pulong nan NPA adunay makahadlok nga epekto sa ato. Sa miaging 50 ka tuig, ang kabalaka nagpabilin. Ang kahadlok nitatak sa atong utok. Amo unta gusto mawaya, Unhon nato sila mawaya.” (Likewise, BGen George L Banzon said, “The mere mention of the word NPA has a terrifying effect on us. For the past 50 years, the anxiety has stayed. The fear was instilled in our minds. We want to extricate that. We will eradicate them.)

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