Provincial Administrator Winston Calde presented the personalities that included two women to the members of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).
The CTG members also turned over various firearms and assorted improvised explosive devices as sign of their sincerity to leave their old life as rebels in the mountains. The firearms were received by Calde together with 54th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Narciso Nabulneg Jr., and Mountain Province Provincial Police Office Director Col. Clarence Casillo.
The surrenderees reportedly belonged to the Kilusang Larangang Guerilla Marco (KLG-Marco), Ilocos Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) operating in the Cordillera region and boundaries of the Ilocos Region.
Calde welcomed the CTG members to the mainstream community and thanked them for embracing peace to assume normal life. He also congratulated the PNP and AFP for their efforts in convincing the rebels to surrender.
Casillo expressed gratitude and happiness for these brothers and sisters who decided to go back to mainstream society to live normal life. He stressed that their surrender signals a better opportunity for the province and its people for progress and development which has been hindered by the problem on insurgency.
While the province is generally peaceful in terms of petty crimes, Casillo said the insurgency problem has caused many deaths between and among fellow Cordillerans due to the many encounters between the rebel forces and the government forces. This should now stop, he said.
“I commend everyone who wholeheartedly negotiated with our new peace partners in the area and together with the very active PTF-ELCAC members of Mountain Province for working together to finally bring peace and development in Mountain Province. I also applaud the bravery of our new peace partners who are now ready to stand against insurgency and choose peace instead of disorder,” Nabulneg said.
He added that these were just victims from the brainwashing scheme and deceptive recruitment of the CPP-NPA-NDF as he encouraged every member of the community to know the truth on the real intents of the CPP-NPA-NDF and be a part of the government’s nation-building programs and efforts.
Nabulneg Jr. said that the mass surrender ceremony of the CTGs was thru the Retooled Community Support Program of the PTF- ELCAC led by the 54th IB and the Police Provincial Office with the DILG and the provincial government. (JDP/ RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis