DAVAO ORIENTAL – More members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and their mass supporters have been yielding to the government as they heed the government’s call for genuine peace-building and development.
Following the surrender of 40 NPA members and mass supporters in mid-October, another batch consisting of 37 NPA mass supporters surrendered on Oct. 20.
The latest batch of surrenderers came from Sitio Bahawan, Barangay Marayag, and Sitio Malig, Barangay Don Mariano Marcos in Lupon town.
They were personally welcomed by the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) Vice-Chairman Ednar Dayanghirang at the Provincial capitol where a dialogue with the group took place.
Dayanghirang said the massive surrender of the communist terrorist group members over the recent months is among the effects of the localized implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) 70 through Governor Nelson Dayanghirang’s Executive Order 13.
The national directive that mandated the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, pools all government agencies and local government units together to provide development programs in vulnerable communities, especially the marginalized sectors that include active NPA members and their families, former rebels, and mass supporters in “white areas”.
Insurgency, he said, is not just a mere issue of poverty but the relationship between the government with the people.
He added that the NPA yielding to the government en masse is a testament to how effective the implementation of the EO70 is on the ground. He said that while the NPA heavily depends on its mass supporters, drawing them back to the government means huge damage to the operations of the NPA.
One of the mass supporters who surrendered named Dodong said he surrendered because he does not want to live in fear anymore.
“I want to live in peace with my family,” he said, adding that what strongly drew him to surrender is seeing the sincerity of the government in building genuine peace and ushering development in the province that would benefit all. (Davao Oriental PIO)