Three New People’s Army (NPA) combatants surrendered last week to government forces in Palawan following sustained calls by the Provincial Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) for them to stand down and return to the fold of the law.
3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) commander Brig. Gen. Charlton Sean Gaerlan said Thursday that in addition, four personalities listed on the recovered subversive documents published by the task force on December 2 also yielded through the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster in northern and southern Palawan.
On December 4, Romel Gemuto (Ka Neil, Kian, Ban, Paye) and Eliza Arroyo (Ka Nene and Sireen) of Gabriela voluntarily surrendered to the Joint Task Group South (JTG South) at the headquarters of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) at Camp Daypo, Barangay Abo-Abo, Sofronio Española and at Brgy. Poblacion, respectively.
Gaerlan said Arroyo is listed in the gallery of NPA suspects the PTF-ELCAC published.
On December 6, a certain Jing Asgali (Ka Elis) also gave himself up to the PLEDS Cluster in Brgy. Maasin, Brooke’s Point town.
“The number of surrenderees turning up can be attributed to the convergence of local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders through the PTF-ELCAC since it was activated,” Gaerlan said.
The task force was activated on October 1 at the Provincial Capitol in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order (EO) No. 70 on December 4, 2018.
Under EO 70, the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) is one of the social development packages which provide benefits and opportunities to former NPA members who will surrender and embrace a peaceful life.
“Let us embrace our long lost brothers and sisters who have been victims of the lies and deceit of the communist terrorist group (CTG) as they return and chose to lead a life away from violence,” Governor Jose Alvarez, PTF-ELCAC chairperson, said in a statement released Thursday.
He said the task force “will not stand idly by and will continue to urge the remaining members of the insurgent group to choose the path of peace”.
“We call on them to go back to the folds of the law by putting their arms down and surrender. Palawan Task Force-ELCAC is ready to extend assistance and will help in making their communities resilient and safe from the communist threat,” Alvarez added.
Among those on the task force ELCAC list who also wanted to clear their names from links with the NPA are Gerry Matulac who has been listed as adviser of the Pinag-isang Lakas ng mga Okupante, Residente, Manggagawa, Magsasaka at Mangingisda (PLORMMM) in Taytay; Fernando Buante, a village councilor of Brgy. Biton, Taytay, and listed as president of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (Pamalakaya) in the coastal and island barangays in the same town.
The following day, a certain Wilson Eldo Francisco and Renhard Cleto Endrico, both residents of Taytay, submitted themselves to the PLEDS Cluster also to clear their names from involvement. Francisco is the current vice-chairman of PLORMMM in Taytay while Endrico is a member.