Roy Relia Rebillo, alias Ka Elmer, a former rebel who said he was abandoned by his colleagues in the New People’s Army (NPA) while suffering from severe illness in the mountain, surrendered to the Roxas Municipal Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF ELCAC) on September 16.
Rebillo, a 29-year-old resident of Barangay Saraza, Brooke’s Point town said he was a member of the rebel group Iskwad Katawan in 2017 operating in norther Palawan. He said he had served as a supply officer (P4) of Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) – North.
He narrated that he reached the community in Sitio Candelaria, Barangay Tagumpay in Roxas from a two-day hardship in walking from Barangay Caruray in San Vicente in March this year.
He said he reached Sitio Candelaria and stayed there for almost six months. The community helped him to coordinate with the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) and Joint Task Group North.
“Naglalakad kami ng walang ilaw. Hirap, gutom, pagod, puyat, tapos kapag magkasakit ka, pabayaan ka lang, hindi ka rin bibigyan ng gamot. Sabi nila nagdadahilan lang at sagabal lang ‘yan,” he said.
“Sa mga lakaran, gabing gabi na ay hindi pa kami kumakain, nagtitiyaga sa ubod, at minsan hindi makaluto sa takot na makita kami ng mga nagpapatrolyang marines,” Rebillo added.
Lt. Col. Charlie Domingo, commanding officer of MBLT-3, assured the security of the returnee while in their custody.
“Nasa custody siya ng Joint Task Group North o MBLT-3, sa amin. Sinisiguro naman po natin ang seguridad niya at kung kailangan niyang lumabas kung may aasikasuhin siya ay may mga kasama sya. Ligtas po sya,” Domingo said.
Roxas town Mayor Dennis Sabando said that the presence of the law enforcers should be visible in the ground and in far-flung areas to prevent entry of the rebel group.
He also assured the cooperation of the municipal government to address problem in terrorism.
“Kung may dadating man na ibang tao ay dapat maireport agad kasi hindi dapat ito pinapabayaan dahil mahalaga ang seguridad natin lalo na sa ganitong pagkakataon. Sa mga liblib hindi maiwasan na may nagtatago kaya dapat ang mga sundalo ay laging nandyan, laging nandyan ang presence nila,” he said.
Municipal government of Roxas also handed financial and food support to Rebillo while government’s support programs are on process such as the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP) and Local Social Integration Program (LSIP).