Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – A total of 53 personalities coming from the different NPA organized supporters in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija renounced armed struggle and returned to the mainstream society thru the help of the 84th Infantry (Victorious) Battalion of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army on November 6, 2019.
In one of the biggest mass surrender to take place in Carranglan, the 53 NPA organized supporters gathered at the Barangay Hall of Capintalan, of said town where they formally surrendered to Barangay Captain Francisco Evasco of Capintalan and Lieutenant Colonel Honorato S. Pascual Jr, Commanding Officer of the 84IB.
“They are tired of fighting for a useless and pointless cause,” Lt. Col. Pascual said. “Gusto na nilang mabuhay ng payapa, at ang paraan lang para magawa nila iyon ay sumuko sila at makipagtulungan sa atin,” he added. (They want live in peace now, and the only way to do that is for them to cooperate with us.)
The mass surrender is a result of the joint efforts of the 84IB, the 7th Civil Military Operations (CMO) Battalion, the Barangay Peace & Order Council and Barangay Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (BTF-ELCAC) of Barangay Capintalan in Carrangalan.
Said surrenderees came from the following CPP-NPA underground affiliates: Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad; Yunit Milisyang Bayan; Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas; Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan; Kabataang Makabayan of Sitios Lising and Pandayan, both of Brgy. Capintalan; and Sitio Malihdi, Brgy. Minuli, all of Carrangalan.
“It is apparent that the message of our united forces - the LGUs, LGAs, us in the Army, and the PNP – has finally come across in Carranglan, and the people understand that what we are offering is a win-win situation. Nothing but peace and development will result from the ‘whole-of-nation approach’, and I enjoin the rest of our brothers who are still undecided to leave the armed movement and work with us, instead, to bring real progress to our nation.” These were the words of Major General Lenard T. Agustin, Commander of the 7ID, on the successful mass surrender that took place in Carranglan.
The Kaugnay Division, along with all of its line units, has been very aggressive in the implementation of Task Force ELCAC, in line with President Rorigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, as Major General Agustin firmly believes that “working together as a nation and accepting that peace is everybody’s responsibility” is the best way to end the communist armed conflict in the country.
The 84IB is currently conducting routine interviews on said former NPA supporters. Processing of available government benefits such as the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for former rebels who are qualified will soon follow.