By Jason De Asis
BALER, Aurora-Some 27 exploited local populace of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) torched on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, the flags of the terrorist movement before military officials and members at the covered court of Barangay Matawe, Dingalan town, this province of Aurora.
Lieutenant Colonel Julito B. Recto, Jr., Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion commander, said that the former supporters also broke their loyalty to the movement by signing Executive Order No. 70 manifesting their strong support to the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).
“I am hoping that the group will continue their withdrawal of support to the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) who continually deceives the villagers to join in the meaningless armed struggle,” Recto said.
He added that the participants were from the remote villages of Ibona and Matawe.
On the other hand, Lieutenant Colonel Enrique G Rafael, 7th Civil Military Operation Battalion commander encouraged the group to convince others who are still working with the terrorist organization to surrender and to pledge allegiance to the government. “We should stop fighting and stop the anti-government propaganda. We are calling on them to put an end to their violent tactics. Let us support peace towards progress and development,” he said.
Dingalan Police Station Chief of Police Captain Emilio dela Torre said that the policemen are grateful for the group’s decision to go back to the fold of the law. “Rest assured that the police and other concerned agencies will support the surrenderer’s to change their lives,” Dela Torre said.
One of the exploited civilian populace who spoke at the activity was Ka Sonny, who shared how he was trying to recruit and to join in the terrorist organization. “The terrorist gave me an armalite (M16) to protect our farm and later on tried to convince me that I was already in the order of battle of the Philippine Army. Instead of joining, I refused. I said to my wife that the terrorists were deceiving us. We were awakened by the fact that the NPAs were fooling us and that the government is now helping us,” Ka Sonny said.