CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City — Another member of the New Peoples Army returned to the mainstream society with the help of the 36th Infantry Battalion in Surigao del Sur at 7 o’clock last night, 12 February 2017.
Realizing the futility of the armed struggle, this 23-year-old Manobo (one of the IP Tribes in Caraga) from San Miguel, Surigao del Sur chose to be with his family and live a normal life. He surrendered his M16A1 rifle with one fully-loaded magazine.
Ltc Randolph Rojas, 36IB Commanding Officer welcomed him and ensured to facilitate the benefits that are due to him. “I welcome our brother who finally decided to take the right path. Just like his other comrades who also made the same decision earlier, we will facilitate the benefits based from the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur. The program is designed to help all members of the NPA who may wish to return to the mainstream society and start a new and peaceful life with their family.”
In 4ID Area of Responsibility covering Northern Mindanao and Caraga Regions, the NPA’s regular members mostly come from the Indigenous Peoples. (data is based on the revelations of the former NPAs)
“While we are happy for the decision of our brother as he finally embraced peace, we are still saddened by the grave violation of the NPA leaders on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) Law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law when they continue to arm our Indigenous Peoples to exploit our IP communities and force them to join their money-making and extortion activities.” Said by MGen Benjamin R Madrigal Jr., 4ID Commander in his statement.
“Together with all the Tribal Leaders and IP communities, the peace-loving people of Mindanao, and all the Human Rights Advocates, we ask the NPAs to put an end to all your atrocities and finally heed the call of our President for Unity and Nation Healing. There are programs that are designed to cater your individual needs and will help you go back to mainstream society and live peacefully with your families and loved ones.”