Army announces surrender of 12 NPA supporters in Leyte village
TACLOBAN CITY—The military announced the surrender of 12 supposedly supporters of New People’s Army (NPA) in Leyte province on Oct. 2.
Four of those who surrendered, all residents of the village of Balocawehay in Abuyog town, were women, according to the 14th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.
The surrender, the battalion said, foiled a plot by NPA to set up a base at the village.
Prior to the surrender, the NPA supporters first went to Eufronio Damas, village chair and head of the Barangay Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, an extension of the controversial National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac), which has a P19 billion budget for 2021.
NTF-Elcac has allocated P20 million for so-called development projects for every barangay cleared of communist rebels.
Those who surrendered, who have not been identified, were cited by the military as saying they supported NPA because they were promised help in farming.
But the villagers were required to attend meetings and act as contacts, couriers and active supporters of rebels.
Lt. Col. Ernesto Dela Rosa, battalion commander, said the testimony of the villagers showed NPA continued to lie to the people and use threats to recruit.
Dela Rosa asked villagers to “actively support the campaign” against communist rebels by providing tips on rebel locations.
“In this way we can prevent them from spreading lies, deceiving people and conducting atrocities,” Dela Rosa said in a statement.
Brig. Gen. Zosimo Oliveros, commanding officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, said he was happy about the support of officials of Balocawehay village.
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