A mother and her son, both are fulltime members of the New People’s Army (NPA) voluntary surrendered to 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion on January 19, 2019, 11:00am.
A.K.A Bella, 56 years old, married, a Political Instructor (PI) and Platoon Medic, who was the mother of A.K.A Rebo, 24 years old, Single, was a Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda (SYP), residents of Brgy. Magnaga, Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province and both are members of Weakened Guerilla Front (WGF) 2, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC 2), Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC) voluntarily surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Esteveyn E Ducusin , Commander of 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion at the headquarters of 71st IB in Purok 8, Brgy. Nueva Visayas, Mawab.
A.K.A Bella revealed that in the year 1973 she started joining the armed group and became an “Amazona” for seven (7) years. In the year 1980, she got married and went down from the mountain. She already stopped when a certain A.K.A Molong recruited her again in Brgy. Kingking, Pantukan promising her to send her child to school in 2013. She started organizing rallies in 2014 and became Political Instructor (PI) of Guerilla Front 2. She even joined the rally in Davao with the theme “Paalisin ang mga Sundalo sa Kabundukan” in the same year. She gathers the collected revolutionary tax from the tunnel and sari-sari store in Pantukan in year 2015. She became the organizer of Baseng Gerilya (BAGER 2) in 2018.
A.K.A Rebo revealed that he was recruited by A.K.A Terso Ilaya at Sitio Lumanggan, Brgy. Kingking Pantukan. He underwent the Pambansang Demokratikong Paaralan (PADEPA) for one week and his instructor was A.K.A Jemmy. He further revealed that he was tasked as the detonator of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) placed in the pathways of the soldiers and civilians. In 2016, he was involved in an encounter with the military troops in Pantukan.
The surrendered NPAs regret that they had joined and believed the nonsense ideologies taught to them. They were misled and got lost in time. A.K.A Bella joined the NPA because of the promise that they will send their child to school but was never fulfilled. She even drags his son to join the NPAs but only added to her misery.
The surrender of a.k.a FIONA and those who surrendered first gave them the courage to set foot on the Kaibigan Battalion and freely divulge the information they know about the NPAs. They said that they saw a lot of former rebels who now enjoy their freedom and live their lives peacefully. They are no longer afraid of the soldiers because they themselves proved that they were accommodated well which was against to what the NPAs told them about surrendering.
“If all of the rebels would surrender? They would know what programs and livelihoods the Government has prepared for them. I encourage you all to come down and see for yourself that you are just blinded by these wrong ideologies. It’s time to wake up now and start a new and peaceful life without fear.” Ducusin said.
The 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion is true to its mandate to serve and protect the people. Fiona, Bella and Rebo are just a few who can testify that soldiers today are far different from before. They were shocked on how well they are treated by whom they thought would make their lives miserable.