186 NPA allies to yield in Leyte town

ENDING ARMED CONFLICT. A soldier talks to residents of Hiluctogan village in Carigara, Leyte in an outreach program in this Aug. 16, 2021 photo. The village is one of the communities in the town where the New People's Army organized its supporters.(Photo courtesy of Philippine Army 93rd Infantry Battalion)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least 186 supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Carigara, Leyte will surrender to authorities on Nov. 26 as a result of the government’s intensified effort to rid remote communities of the influence of the communist terrorist group.

The military is currently gathering personal information from surrenderers who will take their oath of allegiance to the government in a ceremony in Carigara, said Capt. Kaharudin Cadil, spokesperson of the Philippine Army's 802nd Infantry Brigade.

“Their surrender will block the NPA’s attempts to infiltrate remote communities. In the past months, we have been raising public awareness about the NPA’s deceptive recruitment,” Cadil said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Surrenderers are from the villages of Canlampay, Hiluctogan, Libo, Upper Hiraan, and Caghalo.

These five villages are among the 16 communities in Carigara covered by the Army’s retooled community support program (RCSP) since 2020.

The RCSP deployments aim to facilitate the government’s development programs by hearing the issues and concerns of vulnerable villagers and bringing them to the attention of concerned government offices.

Between 2019 to 2020, NPA remnants have moved to the mountains of Carigara after soldiers cleared the infiltrated areas in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte.

As mass supporters, these residents served as contacts and couriers where they provide and facilitate the procurement and delivery of supplies, food, and medicines.

They also act as the eyes and ears of the NPA by monitoring the presence of government forces in the area and identifying possible targets for recruitment, Cadil said.

The Philippine Army lauded the different Barangay Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in Carigara for helping the military in encouraging NPA allies to surrender.

The Philippine Army found out about efforts of the NPA to organize supporters in communities as disclosed by rebels who recently yielded to local authorities.

The event in Carigara will be the second mass surrender of staunch NPA allies in Leyte Island.

Carigara is about 48 kilometers northwest of Tacloban, the regional capital. It is a 2nd class town with a population of over 51,000.

On November 10, some 107 NPA supporters in the remote Somoje village in San Juan, Southern Leyte surrendered to the government.

In Itahos village, Bontoc, Southern Leyte, at least 59 NPA couriers, contact, and supporters will also surrender to local authorities on November 29.

The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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