From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 7): More NPA rebels will yield to gov’t, says military official
GUIPOS, Zamboanga del Sur – At least three (3) regular members of the New People’s Army from the Natarang Guerilla ng Kara (NG-KARA) of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) on Saturday, September 5, decided to return to the folds of the law and live normal lives.
The rebel returnees were identified as Erme Elnas, alias “James,” 22 years old, a member of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda; Anselma Perez Quijano, alias “Jelly,” 26 ; and Lodovico Jordan Nadal Jr. alias “Jay-Ar,” 26, voluntarily surrendered to Lt. Col. Alvin Luzon, commanding officer of the 53rd Infantry Battalion at its headquarters at Camp Sabido, this municipality.
Elnas yielded KG45 sub-machine gun with defaced serial number and Quijano a caliber 45 pistol 1911-A1 with serial number 973124 to Col. Luzon.
The military chief said based on the initial debriefing, the sustained combat operation of government forces and the dwindling mass support were the reasons for their surrender.
Luzon said their successful surrender was made possible through the joint efforts of the intelligence platoon of 53rd IB; Special Mission Platoon of 1st Military Intelligence Battalion and Police Intelligence Branch of Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office.
He said a total of 19 former NPA rebels have surrendered to the government.
Five (5) former NPA rebels surrendered to the headquarters on May 25, another eight (8) rebels surrendered in the evening of August 11, and three (3) surrendered during the declaration of Zamboanga del Sur as Peaceful and Ready for Further Development province on August 12, at the Amusement and Events Center, Provincial Capitol compound where the former rebels were given P15,000 each under the national government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
Luzon said the gradual increase of NPA rebels who surrendered to the government are the fruits and success of the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan campaign.
He is thankful to our brothers who have returned to the folds of the law and abandoned the armed movement.
“In a span of just about 3 months, we were able to convince NPA rebels to surrender to the government,” Luzon happily announced.
“With the significant increase of number of surenderees this year, I am optimistic that more NPA rebels will return to the folds of the government,” Luzon concluded.
“The real problem is that time is running out because there so many who want to interpellate, which is their right, and it’s the right of the leadership of the House to terminate it (plenary deliberations) or to limit it if we have the numbers.” Speaker Belmonte, also said.
Belmonte said the leadership of the House of Representatives has somewhat addressed the issue of quorum with plenary sessions chalking up “very good” attendance in recent days.
He said the chamber is expected to finish its committee deliberations on the proposed national budget in the next weeks and start plenary debates before the end of the month or early October so the BBL must be passed before that.
He said the Senate has also started deliberations on its version of the BBL but will start tackling the budget by November.
“The notion that you can get the Senate and the House to agree on a version before we concentrate on the budget is really becoming an impossible dream,” Belmonte said.
“But we still have to go at it to show that peace in Mindanao as exemplified by the BBL is our continuing concern and it will still get a big chunk of our time,” he said.
The BBL crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is based on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed in 2012 and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed in 2014 between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front MILF).