42 ex-NPA supporters in Ilocos Sur pledge loyalty to government, says Army
FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City — Forty-two alleged members of different underground mass organizations (UGMO) withdrew their support from the New People’s Army (NPA) in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, the military said Sunday.
Lt. Col. Rodrigo Mariñas Jr., commander of the 81st Infantry Battalion, said the 42 individuals took their oaths of allegiance to the government at the barangay hall of Cadcad on Oct. 15.
Most of them belonged to the Sangay ng Partido sa Localidad, Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid, Malayang Kilusan ng Makabagong Kababaihan and Kabataang Makabayan.
The ceremony was officiated by Narvacan Coun. Zalady Clarin, who chairs the committee on peace and order, the Army said.
“It is alarming to know how the NPA exploited and deceived our farmers and women in the countryside and used them to advance their political interest,” Mariñas said.
Noting that 25 other UGMO members had also pledged loyalty to the government in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur last month, Mariñas said the NPA has been losing mass-based support that would “eventually lead to the collapse of the group in the province.”
“The implementation of the Army’s program in the communities is crucial as we aim to save more people against the deception and exploitation of the bandits. Aside from that, we are also preventing their criminal activities in the community,” said Brig. Gen.Audrey Pasia, commander of the 702nd Infantry Brigade.
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