From the Sun Star-Davao (Jan 25): 2 more NPA men surrender
TWO members of the New People's Army (NPA) surrendered to government troops in Barangay Gupitan in Kapalong town, Davao del Norte on Saturday evening.
But the Army's 10th Infantry Division spokesperson First Lieutenant Vergel Lacambra refused to identify the rebel returnees for safety reasons.
Lacambra said the two rebels are former members of the NPA's Guerilla Front 34 of Southern Mindanao Sub-Regional Committee.
He added that the two turned themselves over to the Army's 60th Infantry Battalion at Sitio Patil around 6 p.m. of Saturday.
"According to them, disillusionment in the underground organization and the hardship in the mountains made them decide to return to the folds of the law," Lacambra said.
The 10th Infantry Division noted the increase of rebel surrenderees.
Last week, an NPA rebel armed with .45 caliber pistol and a fragmentation grenade also surrendered to troops in Paquibato, Davao City.
Lacambra said 10 more rebels surrendered to government troops in different areas of responsibility of the division during the month-long suspension of military operations (Somo) this year.
The 10th ID commander Major General Eduardo Año earlier said the increase in the numbers of rebel returnees is a sign that a growing demoralization among their ranks is now taking place.
"We are again calling on our brothers [and sisters] who are still in far-flung areas, continuously deceived by the communist propaganda to lay down their arms and embrace a peaceful life," Año said.
Lacambra said the rebel surrenderees will soon avail themselves of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of Davao Del Norte after undergoing some procedures.
Never mind the detractors, obstructionists, and even outright spoilers; they are always part of the whole journey. It is better to appreciate their inseparability to the process rather than to accumulate remorse in our hearts and hate them, especially if done openly.
Never mind also those people including politicians and church people who said that they were not consulted! Checked with actual facts their voices can be easily doubted. Alone, the Mindanao Civil Society Organization Platform for Peace (MCSOPP), one of the partners of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), had conducted 625 dialogues or consultations on the BBL not only in Mindanao but also in other parts of this country. In one way or the other, those politicians and religious personalities were involved in these dialogues, if not in the MCOPP’s but surely in those held by government, MILF and other entities supporting the BBL and the peace process in general.
The truth is that it is impossible to talk to and consult everyone in this country. If these leaders of people are real and responsible, they should not wait to be consulted but instead they should and must seek for a dialogue themselves. National interests demand of us to set aside our egos and work for the common good.
The BBL is not an ordinary legislation. It is a product of 17 long years of an on-and-off negotiations frequently interrupted by fierce fighting between government and MILF forces. It is a legal document based on political documents, the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Any deviation from the letter and spirit of these agreements which the BBL amply captured is problematic.
This is the reason that it is always our firm belief that Congress has the collective wisdom to pass a good BBL. This BBL is intended to solve a political problem, the Bangsamoro Problem or Question that stays with us for decades or even centuries.
On the constitutionality of the BBL, it is better to hear and heed the voices of the surviving members of the 1987 Constitution, including former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Hilario Davide Jr. and Fr. Joaquin Bernas, who said that the vision, spirit and the core principles behind the provisions on autonomous regions which constitute the essential constitutionality of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.