CAMP MONTECLARO, Igtuba, Miagao, Iloilo, (DWDD) – Philippine Army officials belied reports from Communist political fronts that recent surrenderees from the Communist-Terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) in the Visayas are fake.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot Jr., commander, 61st Infantry “Hunter” Battalion (IB), he stressed that the individuals who surrendered to Army forces were real members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
LTC Magbalot’s statement is in response to claims being hurled by Karapatan secretary-general Reyland Vergara that the individuals who turned themselves in to the government in the previous months were fake NPA members.
Vergara even insinuated that government troops were benefitting from the livelihood assistance and other forms aid that the rebel surrenderees are getting under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
LTC Magbalot challenged Vergara to prove his claims.
The recent surrenderees are “real” adding that they event turned-over high-caliber firearms.
Magbalot added that the surrendees returned to the folds of the law in the hope of reuniting with their loved ones whom they were forced to abandon due to pressures from the Communist group. 61IB Hunter / MCAG