EO 70 Testimony: From ‘former rebels’ to ‘friends rescued’

“For us, other name for ‘former rebels’ is ‘friends rescued,'” this is what Ka Amihan emphasized when asked what would be his message to his former comrades.

Ka Amihan was one of the resource persons during the recent press conference with former rebels organized by the 1002nd Infantry Brigade in Magpet, North Cotabato. He is a former deputy secretary of the Subregional Committee 1 and secretary of the Guerilla Front 20. Ka Amihan surrendered to authorities In March 2020 following his realization and knowing the Executive Order 70 of the national government.

The ‘friend rescued’ is grateful that the current administration is giving hope to those deceived by the ideologies of the New Peoples Army (NPA). According to him, EO 70 may not be appreciated at the national level, but the efforts and the effects it has are of high impact to the grassroots level.

“EO 70 is giving services and proving that good governance is possible in this administration. It is giving the people the peace that they deserve,” Ka Amihan told the local media, adding that it is an honor for him to be part of the undertaking.

When he was at the countryside, he said that he already had realization on the type of service the organization he joined was up to.  He said he ofter wonder, are we really serving the people? or are we giving them more problems? These were just some of the questions that opened his eyes to surrender to authorities.

He said that though the government has lapses for the past years, he found himself believing now its sincerity with the implementation of the EO 70's which institutionalizes the whole of nation approach to end local communist armed conflict.

Amihan said he felt the change that is happening in the country especially at the communities that were once dominated by insurgency.

He also confidently conveyed to his former colleagues in the armed struggle that there is no torture, no physical and sexual abuse, because after his surrender, he said he was showered with kindness and  feels loved by the government.

Ka Amihan accounted how he was welcomed by government troops on the day of his surrender. What he didn’t expect was that he will be treated as a "very important person," sleeping in quarters of commanding officers.

He then emphasized that he is not being paid to tell his testimony and that he is just telling the truth based on the things he experienced.

The former rebel or the friend rescued, as what he considers himself, also expressed gratitude to the government for giving him the opportunity to continue serving the people. “Service is the reason why I joined the movement,” Ka Amihan said, denouncing the New People's Army. 

According to him, there’s no need to be part of the NPA in order to serve or to be part of it to become nationalistic and patriotic.

Though his former comrades consider him as a traitor and enemy now, he still wants to save them from deception as he still considers them as his friends. Ka Amihan noted that the so-called change that the NPA and the Communist Party of the Philippines is pushing to bring change is nothing but a total propaganda-- lies and deception to lure people of this country into joining them.

With his surrender, Ka Amihan has called on his former comrades to trust the government and its program implemented thru the EO 70 while also urging them to stop the killings and atrocities because too many innocent people have died and families broken.

“We call for national unity, we call for peace, national progress and that can only be achieved if give up the armed struggle. Go back to the folds of law, let’s talk about the issues and be part of the solution not part of the problem,” Ka Amihan told his former allies.

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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