Army denies abduction, Activist turned NPA surrendered voluntarily

CAMP GENERAL ALFREDO SANTOS, Calauag, Quezon — Army Brigade denies abduction of a female NPA who voluntarily surrendered to combined Army and PNP Troops in General Luna, Quezon last September 15.

Lt. Col. Arnold L Gasalatan, Commanding Officer of 85IB identified the surrendered rebel as Alexandria Padilla Pacalda alias Cosette/Cris, 24 years old, a member of Platoon Sol, Sub- Regional Military Area (SRMA) 4B, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC). She also surrendered one (1) Smith and Wesson Revolver (SN 7288) with six (6) live ammunition and other war materiel.

Pacalda was a student of Enverga University in Lucena City. She was an active member of Gabriela Youth and College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines before joining the NPA. According to her father, Arnulfo Pacalda, she graduated with a degree in Mass Communication but has no knowledge of her whereabouts until her surrender to the authorities.

“There is no abduction here. We understand that she has been fed with stories of torture if she goes to the military or the police that is why we immediately sought for her immediate relatives upon learning of her surrender because we want her to feel safe,” LTC Gasatalan added.

Meanwhile, Colonel George Joel N Lalaquil, Officer-in-Charge of the 201stBrigade which has operational jurisdiction over 3rd and 4th Districts of Quezon Province said that Pacalda will avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.

“We are winning the campaign and the NPA are vastly losing people’s support. We will sustain our gains until they are defeated the soonest possible time. Rest assured that NPAs who desires to surrender will be processed to avail the E-CLIP”, Col Lalaquil added.

Under the E-CLIP, a former rebel can receive Php 15,000 immediate cash assistance, Php 50,000 livelihood assistance, firearms remuneration, have access to housing, medical and legal assistance, among others. It also includes educational benefits which can be extended to the rebel’s immediate family members.