MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon — Four high-ranking female New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered to the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1st SFBn) in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.
The four rebels vowed to support the government and embrace the rule of law on Feb. 21, 2019 at the Bukidnon Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Malaybalay City.
Jackielyn Ann Elaco alias “Lala,” 34 years old, is the Finance Officer and Political Instructor of Platoon Derek, SYP Company 2 of Guerilla Front 68A, SRC4, North Central Mindanao Committee (NCMRC).
Gloria Jandaya, also known as “Diding,” 63, is the staff of the Regional Urban Committee, while her daughter, Gleceria Balangiao alias “Jao,” 34, is the Liaison Staff of Regional Urban Committee.
The youngest of the four, Lorena Micabalo alias “Jai-Jai,” 24, is the Political Officer of SYP Company 3, SRC4, NCMRC.
“Lala” turned over assorted medicines, medical and dental kits which she admitted are being used to treat injured NPA terrorists during encounters with government troops.
She also gave up cell phones and a personal computer (Acer tablet).
These gadgets are now under “contents forensics and analysis” to ensure that the kept information can be used in court as proof in the filing of cases against individuals and organizations linked to the CPP-NPA.
All of the surrenderees operate under CPP-NPA’s Sub-Regional Committee 4, NCMRC, who radicalize the communities by recruiting western Bukidnon and urban area residents in Cagayan de Oro City.
They revealed the difficulties in the underground movement and the frustrations over their leaders’ false promises as they narrated the contradictions on what is being preached and what is actually happening inside the CPP-NPA organization.
The four asserted their desire to quit and embrace the rule of law as they want to avail of the government’s assistance through the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Their statements were administered by Public Attorney’s Office lawyers into affidavits and were presented to the Provincial Prosecutor.
Col. Edgardo De Leon, 403rd Brigade Commander, commended Lt. Col. Sergio Macarandan, the 1st SFBn commander, for gaining people’s trust.
He said the four ladies who surrendered are all victims of the CPP-NPA terrorists’ exploitation and one of the reasons why they deserve to receive assistance from the government.
“Their being among the marginalized sector of the society was exploited by CPP-NPA cadres who posed as ‘Poverty Liberators’ promising better lives, but in reality brought them into the armed terrorist movement,” he added.
De Leon said that under the E-CLIP, their esteem will be restored and they will be capacitated to become productive citizens and reintegrated to the communities of their choice.
“This will be done in partnership with line agencies of the national and local government. This is the real essence of the whole-of-nation approach to ending the ‘local communist armed conflict’ as desired by our President,” he said.
Meanwhile, 4th Infantry Division Commander, Brigadier General Franco Nemesio Gacal commended the 1SFBn troops for reaching out and convincing the four to return to the folds of law and enroll in the government’s E-CLIP.
“This is the kind of ‘Peaceful War’ that I have been advocating to our soldiers and peace partners. We don’t have to use our traditional weapons to end the armed conflict in our country. The four surrenderors are now saved from the risk or danger of possible injury or death. They were actually rescued by the soldiers and civilians who acted as conduits. We thank our peace partners for believing, trusting, and joining in our call for a united effort to foster peace in our communities,” Gacal said.