NPA losing members, says Army
MALITA, Davao Occidental – The New People’s Army has apparently run out of funds and could no longer keep its promise of providing at least P2,000 to families of its members, a military official said Thursday.
Lt. Col. Ronnie Babac, commander of the 73rd Infantry Battalion based here, said they found this out when at least six New People’s Army rebels – five of them teenagers – separately yielded in Sarangani province following days of military offensives against communist rebels there.
Babac, the 73rd IB commander, said two of those who surrendered in Malapatan and Alabel towns between June 19 and 23 amid the “relentless conduct of peace and development operation” there were teenage girls, aged 18 and 19.
He would not disclose the full identities of the surrendered rebels as of yet and identified them only by their aliases Dindin, 19; Lovely, 18; Junex, 19; Arman, 19; Noli, 18; and Michael, 22.
Babac said that in an initial investigation of the six, who were residents of Sarangani, they told authorities they had grown tired of the pledges of their leaders that their families would receive at least P2,000 in cash assistance per month.
“That was the promise made when they entered the NPA. None of their families got any amount though,” he said.
Babac said the NPA’s failure to keep its pledge of providing monthly support to families of rebels would drive others to surrender.
“We are also tirelessly encouraging our deceived brothers to take the opportunity provided by the government’s integration program,” he said.
Babac said unlike the NPA’s promise, the government has not failed to live up to its promise.
“The six surrenderees are now being processed for their benefits under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) initiated by the Local Government of Sarangani, under which, they will be receiving cash and livelihood assistance,” Babac said.
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