"Ka Red", who was also known as Ka Aji, Ka Elis and Ka Axel, joined the NPA troupe operating in the west and east Cagayan front at the age of 18 in 2013 and surrendered at the age of 25 in 2019.
She was one of the four recipients of a cash assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
"To our companions before in the forest who are still supporting the NPAs, it is not yet late for you to surrender," she said.
She also said there's no truth to the propaganda of the rebels that the military and the police will torture them if they will surrender.
"We are living testimonies that the military officials and the police never hurt anyone who surrendered, they protect us and they will assist us," she said in an interview.
She also urged individuals who keep on supporting rebel groups to think carefully if the groups that they are supporting are really after the people's rights or they will just induce conflicts that will further impoverished the farmers and the marginalized.
"Ka Red" also revealed that after serving the rebel groups for almost six years, she decided to surrender when she witnessed corruptions and unpleasant activities of their leaders in the upland.
With the assistance of the government, she is hopeful to improve their living status to serve as good testimony to other active rebels to already get down and surrender. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)
By Oliver T. Baccay