Life begins again for an NPA mother and her child who surrendered along with 3 others in MisOr

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental – Three regular fighters of New People’s Army (NPA) and one Militia ng Bayan (MB) member surrendered to the 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion thru a negotiation effort done by 58IB, February 27, 2020.

The said NPA fighters were identified as alias Boyaks and alias Mona, both 36 years of age. The other is alias Kring-Kring, 20 years old, all are members of Sub Regional Sentro De Grabidad Eagles, Sub-Regional Committee 1 (SRC 1), North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC). Also, one Militia ng Bayan (MB) member in the alias of Tugas, who is 23 years old and a member of MB, Guerilla Front 4A of Sitio Bocbocon, Barangay Durian, Las Nieves, Agusan Del Sur, has surrendered to 58IB.

All were recruited at a young age. One surrenderer, alias Kring-kring was recruited by the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) when she was just 17 years old, who was promised with a job that pays highly, which was in the end was all just a lie. The promised better future never came. Instead, she was treated by the armed group otherwise.

According to the law, such act shows clear violation of the Children’s Right and International Humanitarian Law. As stated in its Rule 136, “Children must not be recruited into armed forces or armed groups”. This strongly indicates that the communist terrorist group disregards the law and continues to ruin our youth’s future.

In her testimony, Kring-Kring said that she decided to surrender after realizing that if she continued to join the armed struggle, there would be no future for her and her newly born child. According to her, at 5 months of pregnancy, she still carries a firearm around her and was directed to join in their operations, which is extremely dangerous for a pregnant woman like herself. Along with herself, she surrendered the high-powered firearm in her possession, an M14 rifle.

The said surrenderers will be enrolled to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government that will help them go back to the mainstream society. The surrender of these NPA fighters is the result of relentless effort of the 58IB in bringing peace and development in the conflict-affected areas of Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of 58IB said, “The number of communist terrorist groups is declining, and they are under pressure to surrender to government authority due to the loss of their powers and mass bases. Furthermore, their surrender shows that they are fed up with the wrong ideologies of the NPA and the false hopes given by the NPA. This also suggests that they are moving their support and trust from the NPA to the government. Rest assured that the Army will help them obtain benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive and Local Integration Program (ECLIP) and finally start anew with their families and loved ones.

“I am optimistic that the continued commitment of the Army and the other stakeholders’ to enforcing E-CLIP would spark hope for a better future and encourage the remaining members of the NPA to lay down their weapons and return to the folds of the law.” Lt. Col. Canatoy added.

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