PNP Southern Luzon says fight vs Reds a success with surrender of 75 Calabarzon rebels
LUCENA CITY—Police on Tuesday (Jan. 26) presented 75 alleged members of New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the Calabarzon region who had surrendered.
The Philippine National Police Southern Luzon office, in a statement, said 33 of those presented were full-time guerrillas, 26 were communist militiamen and 16 were candidates for full NPA membership.
All were supposedly operating in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region which is near Metro Manila.
The alleged rebels turned over 18 firearms to authorities.
They were presented in a ceremony at Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang town, Laguna province early on Tuesday.
Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, acting chief of the Integrated Police Operations-Southern Luzon, represented PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas during the ceremony.
Police said full-time rebels were operating in so-called red areas with heavy NPA presence.
Militiamen help NPA guerrillas and are also classified as candidates for membership in the guerrilla force.
“All of them play an important part in advancing their communist interests and armed struggle to bring down the government,” a statement from the PNP regional office said.
Sinas, in a message read by Abu, said the surrender of the 75 rebels was a “living testament of how the whole-of-nation approach had become a success” in the counterinsurgency campaign.
Brig. Gen. Felipe Natividad, PNP regional chief, said the surrender was the product of operations by members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the region.
Natividad said the PNP goal was “persuade” rebels to surrender and accept the Duterte administration’s offer of money, employment, houses and other goodies under a program called Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
The program, according to Natividad, would give rebels “another chance and reintegrate them back into mainstream society.”
During the ceremony, the surrendered rebels were given rice, grocery items and cash. It was not known how cash was given, but E-Clip offers P50,000 per firearm turned over which means the 18 firearms that were surrendered could yield up to P900,000, which should be paid out to the former rebels.
The surrendered rebels would undergo what police said were reintegration protocols—medical checkup, debriefing and enrolment in E-Clip which would give free medical treatment, education, housing and legal aid.