With the military’s “Bayanihan” strategy now on full steam, the Capiz-based 3rd Infantry Division is pleased to announce that 44 New People’s Army (NPA) camps in Negros and Panay were captured by its troopers in 2013.
What made this accomplishment more significant is that concerned civilians reported the location of the rebel bases to the military, 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson Major Ray Tiongson said.
He added that the number of NPA camps captured can be broken down into 24 in Negros and 20 in Panay.
Tiongson also said that 44 rebel fighters have also decided to abandon the armed struggle and joined the mainstream society last year.
“While from January to February of this year, six NPA members (4 in Negros and 2 in Panay) left the armed movement and returned to democratic folds of the government,” the 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson said.
Last March 6, a certain Sonny Boy Senda, a resident of Barangay Apoloy, Siaton, Negros Oriental and a member of Squad 3, Sentro De Grabidad (SDG) Platoon of the Southeast Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros (SEF, KR-N) decided to turn over himself to the troops of 79IB.
According Senda, he was misled by the NPA leadership in Negros and realized that armed struggle is just adding up to the problems of his province.
The return of several NPA members to democratic folds and the abandonment of their camps are indications of the waning rebel organization in the region.
“According to these former rebels, they have realized that armed struggle is a futile cause and not the solution to our societal problems,” Tiongson added.
He added that surrendered rebels have also seen the efforts of the military, the local government units and agencies, civil society organizations, and the citizens who have been working together in the spirit of “bayanihan” in addressing the issues especially in the countryside.
“We remain committed in our efforts to secure the local communities from lawless armed elements and likewise pursue our goal for Negros Oriental and the rest of the region to be free from insurgency. Together with other stakeholders, we will win the peace in the region and move forward for development to thrive in the countryside,” 3rd Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Aurelio Baladad concluded. PNA