PAGADIAN CITY, Nov. 30 (PIA) – Eighteeen former rebels (FRs) have returned to the folds of the law as they turned-over their firearms and took oath of allegiance to the government.
The 53rd IB, Philippine Army presented the surrenderees before Usec Rene Glen O. Paje, DSWD Undersectary and Chairman of Regional Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) during the ground breaking ceremony of the Halfway House for FRs, held recently in Guipos town, Zamboanga del Sur.
The former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels committed to support the present administration in its fight against local terrorist groups and their activities like child recruitment and training.
“Para dili na maka pangilad sa katawhan labi na sa kabatan–unan ug katibuk-an mang-uuma (to put a stop in deceiving the people specially the youth and the farmers),” said one rebel returnee.
Another former rebel also committed to help convince their comrades who are still with the movement and believes in the wrong ideology, to go back to mainstream government.
The FRs also committed to cooperate with the Phil. Army in whatever information they could get from the rebel group.
“Tabang ta sa pag aw-hag sa atong mga kauban nga nabilin pa didto nga manganaog ug dili mahadlok pag surrender kay maayo ang mga taga 53rd IB, nagsalig ta nila, wala ta pasakiti, diha nato nakita gitagaan tag E-CLIP, walay hunung ang tabang sa gobyerno (Let us help call on our comrades who are still left in the mountains to go down and not be afraid to surrender because the 53rd IB armies are good, we trust them, they did not hurt us, they helped us with E-CLIP, government help is continuously pouring in),” aka Commander Tingul, a former hardcore NPA rebel leader said.
Meantime, Usec. Paje congratulated the FRs for making the right decision to go back to government, “maligayang pagbabalik loob, pagbabalik sa tamang pamumuhay, tamang landas na payapa at talikuran ang armadong pakikibaka (welcome back to mainstream society, back to normal life, right and peaceful path, as you give up arm conflicts),” he said.
“Nangangako tayo na nasa gobyerno at yung nasa lokal na pamahalaan na gagawin ang lahat upang maipahatid, maiparating ang mga serbisyong kinakailangan (we in the government promised to do everything to bring and deliver the needed government services),” Paje added.
Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Governor Victor Yu promised to give incentive to the FRs if they will be able to convince their comrades to go back to government, “If maka convince mo ug kauban na mag surrender, muapil sa gobyerno, saad nako, maghatag ug bonus ninyo,” he said. (RVC/JPA/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)