219 NPA members, supporters pledge loyalty to the government

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte — Two hundred nineteen members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists from three different far-off areas of the municipality of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR), Agusan del Norte took oath and pledge allegiance of support to the government by simultaneously declaring NPA as Persona Non-grata (PNG) in their barangays, held at Brgy. Tagbongabong of this province on September 14, 2019.

The said members and mass supporters were composed of 38 members of the NPA, 22 Militia ng Bayan (MB) and 159 Underground Mass Organizations (UGMOs), all of which were identified, unearthed and eventually were coopted through the efforts spearheaded and initiated by 29IB Matatag.The efforts of Community Support Teams of 29IB were reinforced by Philippine National Police counterparts in the areas of barangay San Antonio, Balang-balang and Tagbongabong.

The government has unceasingly proven their utmost support to the barangays as part of Executive Order 70 (E.O. 70) with Local Government Units (LGUs), some Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders combining their efforts to provide different basic services to the households of said three barangays.

The said 219 individuals took their oath of allegiance to the government as led by Hon. Dale B. Corvera, the Provincial Governor of Agusan del Norte. Said oath taking was followed by the symbolic burning of the NPA’s flag and clothes as a sign of withdrawal of support to the NPA.

This pledge of loyalty was also reinforced as two barangays of Balang-balang and Tagbongabong signed a resolution declaring NPA as Persona Non-grata in their barangays.

Hon. Richard B. Daquipil, municipal mayor of RTR urged his people in his statement, “Let us withdraw whatever support we have to the NPAs, because as we can see the government is here to help and support us. A government who truly look after its people and its domain. Let us therefore come and work together in unity for RTR’s peace and development.”

Gov. Dale B. Corvera, frankly said in his message, “There would be no development in the area if there would be no peace. Likewise, there would certainly be no peace, if there would be no development. It goes together. So, let us therefore bear in mind that this insurgency, is not just a military or police problem, but rather this is everyone’s concern. Therefore, we must do something to contribute in resolving this issue.”

Moreover, Lt. Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding officer of 29IB boldly said, “Finally we no longer feel alone in this fight, for we have seen the overwhelming support of the different Local Chief Executives (LCE’s), Line Government Agencies (LGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who attended the said event. On our own, we couldn’t make any promise to help solve their priority and secondary issues and concerns, much more we could not deliver such promises by ourselves. This convergence of efforts is truly a perfect example of the whole-of-nation-approach which is the ultimate solution for insurgency problem.”

Col. Maurito L. Licudine, Commander of 402nd Brigade emphasized that, “Providing support to the terrorist is against the law. So, if there would be no masses that would give them provision, they would surely not have anything to eat and means to support themselves. Therefore, if there would be no support from the masses, certainly there would be no insurgency.”

Hon. Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, 2nd district representative of Agusan del Norte encouraged the people in her message, “You should not be rebelling against your government, but rather use your strengths and abilities to participate in the worthwhile activities of your barangays which would also help your municipality and even your province. Come, so we could hear and know your issues and concerns, for that is the very reason why we have our government,” Cong. Angel ended.