BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte, Sept. 13 — Seven New People’s Army (NPA) regulars, 14 Militia ng Bayan (MB) and 65 members of Underground Mass Organizations (UGMOs) surrendered to the government on September 11, 2019, in Barangay Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
The surrenderers also turned-in three high-powered firearms composed of one M16, one Carbine, and one Garand rifle.
The surrender was followed by the burning of CPP-NPA flag which signifies that they will not be deceived by the group anymore. It was subsequently followed by the declaration of persona non grata against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and its allied organizations.
The declaration was made by the barangay council, tribal council and members of CADT 118, Higaonon tribe of Barangay Lawan-lawan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte through a tribal resolution number 11 (series of 2019).
Datu Bawang Eddie Ampiyawan, Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative of Agusan del Norte, thanked the tribal leaders for their support in attaining peace. “I salute you for returning to the government and helping in attaining peace. I am thankful to the tribal leaders of Higaonon who united for peace,” he said.
“When there is peace, there will be no hindrance to development. The NPAs are weak without the support of the IPs. Without the support of the IPs, the armed revolutionary movement of the NPAs will be gone,” Datu Ampiyawan added.
“You were once deceived by the propaganda and false ideologies of the CPP-NPA-NDF, now that you are enlightened about the program of the government, I hope that you will continue and be sincere in going back to the folds of the law so that you can live peacefully with your family,” said mayor Avelina S. Rosales of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Francisco Molina, Commanding Officer, 23rd Infantry Battalion said that with the efforts of the national and local government and the sincere participation of the tribal leaders in ending local communist armed conflict, “we expect for influx of NPA regulars, MBs and UGMO members to surrender to the government and to express their support for peace and development in their respective community.” (1Lt Roel T. Maglalang, CMO Officer, 23IB, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)