1st PPMFC commander P/Lt. Col. Eldie Bantal speaks to Bienvenido Vallever Command member Ka Mark, who surrendered on March 14.

Ka Mark, who claims to be an “inactive” member of the rebel group’s Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC) in the province and has been hiding out at his home in Brooke’s Point, has surrendered to the 1st Palawan Provincial Mobile Force Company (1st PPMFC).

According to 1st PPMFC commander P/Lt. Col. Eldie Bantal, Ka Mark surrendered to them on March 14 at the encouragement of his family so that he may resume his normal life.

“Matagal na daw siyang hindi active sa grupo at nanatiling sa kanilang bahay na lang sa Brooke’s Point. Matapos na hindi na siya maging active, kinuha na rin daw sa kaniya yong issued sa kaniya na baril,” explained Bantal.

“Masugid din nating nakausap yong pamilya niya tungkol doon nga sa kaniyang pinasukang grupo, until naisipan na niyang mag surrender, magbalik-loob sa pamahalaan, at maging isang ordinaryong mamamayan,” he added.

Bantal said that Ka Mark joined the BVC of the New People’s Army (NPA) in 2012, but only received training in the leftist struggle in the province in 2015.

In barely three months on Paly Island in Taytay, northern Palawan, Ka Mark trained to operate his supplied firearm, and became one of the fighters of the BVC.

“Madali siyang nahikayat ng isang Ka Harry na umanib sa pamamagitan ng pangakong susuportahan ang pinansyal na pangangailangan. Ngunit taliwas umano ito sa naranasan niya. Sa halip ay hirap at gutom ang dinanas niya. Dahil rin daw sa hirap na dinadanas nila sa kabundukan, hindi na niya matiis ito. Sumasama daw siya sa mga operations nila halimbawang may mga gagawing hakbang,” Bantal said.

Bantal added that Ka Mark was among the BVC members who torched a heavy equipment in Sofronio Española in the past.

The 1st PPMFC is now assisting him with his paperwork so that he, too, may be eligible for the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

In December 2022, the Western Command (WESCOM) declared Palawan “insurgency-free” after the defeat of the NPA.

The declaration was made in a joint measure adopted by the Palawan Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and the Provincial Peace and Order Council.