Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Ex-NPAs urge Caraga rebels to rejoin gov't

From the Philippine Information Agency (May 15, 2019): Ex-NPAs urge Caraga rebels to rejoin gov't

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte -- The former members of the new people’s army (NPA) terrorist group are urging their former allies who are still active in the resistance against the government to find their way back to the mainstream society.

Edward Gultia, a teacher who previously served the Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) for 19 years, revealed that the school is not accredited by the Department of Education and is run by New People’s Army (NPA).

“What were inculcated to us during exclusive gatherings in a secluded and mountainous part in Surigao del Sur where these NPA rebels inhabit are plainly the same with what were being taught to the students of TRIFPSS,” revealed Gultia, adding that the learners would grow up hating the government.

Sonny Boy Acebedo, a former student of the TRIFPSS, also shared how the NPA rebels had indoctrinated the students by influencing them to adopt radically different beliefs against the government, and by teaching them on how to manipulate and use firearms at a very young age.

According also to Datu Jomar “Nahikyad” Bocales, municipal tribal chieftain of Lianga, Surigao del Sur, the ideas and principles taught in the TRIFPSS and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. (ALCADEV) schools are contrary to the democratic system of government, wherein the Lumad students were motivated for rebellion.

This, according to him, was confirmed by his contacts within the circle of the NPA movement.

Rico Maca, indigenous peoples mandatory representative (IPMR) of San Miguel municipality in Surigao del Sur, also said that the NPA operators of the TRIFPSS and ALCADEV schools barred the implementation of DepEd’s Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) curriculum framework in the area.

“It’s very obvious to see how these TRIFPSS and NPA are closely related. In fact, they are even into killing of the Lumad leaders who support the imposition of IPEd in the communities," he said.

The former NPAs hope for the active rebels to return and profess their loyalty anew to government so they could live a more meaningful and peaceful life.

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