FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – Twenty five New People’s Army (NPA) communist terrorists belonging to the Underground Movement Organizations (UGMO) have abandoned the armed struggle and surrendered to authorities in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.
Sta. Maria Mayor Brigido C. Camarillo Jr. administered the former rebels’ pledge of allegiance to the government, withdrawal of support from the CPP-NPA, and the Panunumpa sa Watawat.
“Huwag na kayong matakot sapagkat palaging bukas ang ating munisipyo 24/7 upang kayo ang tulungan,” Camarillo said. (We urge those who would like to surrender to not be afraid. We are ready to help you anytime and our office is open 24/7 to receive you.)
The 25 UGMO members belonged to Sangay sa Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL), Pambansang Kilusan ng Magsasaka (PKM), Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA),and Kabataang Makabayan (KM). They were NPA combatants and used to join rallies and demonstrations against the government, according to 81st Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr.,
“We are glad that you’ve been awakened from the deception of the CPP-NPA. Nothing good will happen to your lives when you continue to support the NPA bandits. Help us instead to spread the word to the people in your communities about the NPA’s deceptions, especially among the minors,” said Mariñas.
“Peling,” one of the surrenderees, said that she was just forced to support the communist terrorists because of fear that they might harm her.
“Patawarin niyo po ako. Dahil sa takot ko sa mga NPA kaya naman napilitan akong mag suporta sa kanila na siyang taga-hatid o di kaya naman tagabili ng kanilang mga pangangailangan at pagkain,” said “Peling.” (Please forgive me. Out of fear, I was forced to do errands for the NPAs.)
Last week, 24 UGMO members in Suyo, Ilocos Sur also withdrew their support from the CPP-NPA during an indignation rally which was joined by 240 residents led by Suyo Mayor Mario B. Subagan and other local government officials.