Fatigue, Disillusionment Pushed NPA Couple to yield to 23IB

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – A New People’s Army (NPA) couple voluntarily surrendered to Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C Paulo, the Commanding Officer of the 23rd Infantry “Masigasig” Battalion (23IB) in Jamboree Site, Purok 6, Brgy Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte on 29 June 2021.

The surrenderers were identified as @DALA, 55 years old, former CO, SYP GABON, GF 88, and @NABEN, 50 years old, member of SYP GABON, GF 88. Both are current members of Sub-Section Guerilla Unit (SSGU) under SRC 3, North Central Mindanao Command (NCMRC) of the NPA. Alias DALA handed over one (1) COLT M16 Rifle, one (1) long magazine, and five (5) 5.56 ammunitions.

According to @DALA and @NABEN, for thirty (30) years in the armed struggle, they experienced hardships in the underground movement, the difficulties of living in the mountains without certainties of life, and the lack of food. They have lived on the edge for years and they opted to surrender and reunite with their families as they have been on the run from government forces who are out to hunt them down while they have been holed out in their mountain lair.

“Walay saktong tumong ug klaro ang dagan sa among kinabuhi sulod sa pila ka katuigan. Nagpuyo kami nga puno sa pagduda ug kabalaka, ug nag subay base sa pamaagi sa walhong kalihukan nga klase sa pagkinabuhi. Giilad kami nila na hatagan kami nila ug yuta ug mayo nga panginabuhi paagi sa pasalig nga bakak maong naka sulod mi sa ngitngit nga dalan sa armadong panagbangi,” Alias DALA said.

The NPA couple admitted that they were also threatened by their comrades that the military would kill them once they surrender, which turned out to be NPA’s false propaganda.

Lt. Col. Paulo heartily welcomed the surrenderers and expressed his admiration for their decision to join the government in taking this fight against the CNTs.

“I am glad that these two CNT members finally took the challenge, bravely left the armed movement, and realized that they were following a futile cause and eventually found hope with the government’s successful interventions. Their lives were being used by the armed group for a useless cause,” Paulo said.

He added that the failed promises of the NPA drove the former rebels “to abandon the armed struggle after seeing the sincere gesture of the government in addressing the issues and delivering public services to the communities, especially the marginalized sector, through the Whole of Nation Approach.”

The surrender of the said couple was realized through the efforts made by the unit together with the Higaonon Tribe of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur led by Datu Saulugan Nilo D Manpatilan, Supreme Datu and SP member and Brgy. Chairman Datu Manlinonhaw Oliver M Tipunan, Brgy. Tagbalili Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

“I also thank the support of Datu Saulugan and other tribal leaders for leading the IP community towards the right path and towards peace and prosperity contrary to the propaganda of the NPA whose only objective is to prey upon the vulnerabilities of our IP,” Paulo added.

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