ECHAGUE, Isabela (DWDD) – Troops from the 86th Infantry Battalion led by 2LT Reymar Inotao continues to pursue 30 members of the terror group New People’s Army (NPA) who are responsible with the ambuscade, landmine attacks, extortion, arson on various government and private projects in the region and even the recent encounter last November 12 that resulted on the death of Cpl Denver Banban.
Due to that encounter, troops from 86IB, conducted pursuit operations to tract down the fleeing NPA members from the encounter site. The next day, while conducting pursuit opns, two (2) NPA members approached the troops without firearms, and eventually have an intention to surrender themselves.
According to 502nd Infantry Brigade Commander BGen Bartolome Vincente Bacarro, the surrenderees were identified as Roberto C Dalupang Jr, 17-years old, a farmer from Purok 2, Simanu Norte, San Pablo, Isabela but currently residing at Purok 3, Barangay Diasan, Jones, Isabela and Oliver D Molina, 26-years old, married, from Purok 7, Barangay Pag-Asa, Echague, Isabela and currently residing at Purok 3, Barangay Diasan, Jones, Isabela.
The surrenderees’, who are cousin’s, executed sworn statements in front of Barangay Chairman Jose T Bautista and other barangay kagawad of Barangay Pag-Asa, Echague, Isabela I. They stated that they are active members of the NPA under a certain Kumander Jushua and were part of some ambuscades that targeted soldiers. They also stated that they were treated humanely while in the custody.
The two decided to voluntarily surrender after witnessing the evil, lies and hardship experienced by the locals from the hands of the NPAs, which is totally the opposite of the image they are trying to project as “protectors of the poor.”
They also witnessed the brutal slaying of one of their wounded comrades from the hands of Kumander Jushua who deemed the victim as hampering their escape when he got shot after their encounter in Sitio. Minanga, Barangay. San Carlos, Echague, Isabela.
Robert and Oliver also revealed that the NPAs were not also able to fullfill their promise to them that they will receive monthly stipend if ever they would join the underground movement.
But what drew the last straw for their surrender was the intense military operations launched by government forces. They were forced to continuously move from one place to another just to evade arrest.
On November 17, three members of the NPA front Karapatan- Cagayan Valley went to the Headquarters of 86IB, looking for the 2 NPA members who surrendered, but the surrenderee refused to be interviewed and to be seen by the group of Karapatan.
Included also in their sworn affidavit, that they categorically denied the allegations made by NPA fronts KARAPATAN and DAGAMI that they were allegedly coerced to surrendered. They also added that they decided to surrender to government troops for fear of reprisal from their comrades.
On Nov 18, the two NPA surrenderee were released, and were warmly received by their brgy. officials. Prior to the release, they underwent medical certification that they were not been tortured and are in good health condition prior to the release.
They also revealed that the NPA does not enjoy anymore the support of the local populace. What the residents want is for the NPAs to leave their community for fear of being caught in the fighting. Residents are now defiant and cannot be easily swayed or threatened by the terrorist.
Robert and Oliver are now reaching out to their former comrades, that are still in hiding and are allowing themselves to be used by the NPA, to also voluntarily surrender in order to experience a more peaceful, safe, and progressive life with their family ad loveones, especially this coming Christmas. AES/ALS