“Ka Allan”, the highest ranking leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Palawan, has voluntarily surrendered along with seven others to government troops in Sofronio Española.
Ka Allan (also Ka Peter, Ka Marga, Ka Kier, and Ka Vincent), whose real name is Alimar Libuna Toting, said in an interview with Palawan News that he and his group, “willingly surrendered” to the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) late Tuesday night in Barangay Pulot Center, Sofronio Española.
He is believed to be the head of the local Bienvenido Vallever Command.
The 32-year-old native of Magpet municipality, North Cotabato, said he decided to surrender to reunite with his family, including a young son whom he has not seen in four years.
Ka Allan said he had planned to surrender twice also because of his poor health, but he could not find an “intermediary” that has no personal interest who can connect him to the “right people”.
“Unang-una, ilang beses na rin akong hinihikayat ng aking pamilya na sumuko dahil ‘yon nga, alang-alang sa aking anak. Tapos ‘yong aking kalusugan din hindi na rin maganda, lagi-lagi na rin akong nagkakasakit. Kapag nasobrahan ako sa pag-iisip, parang naglo-lock ‘yong isip ko, nahihimatay ako kapag nasosobrahan sa pag-iisp. May time na nasosobrahan ako sa pag-iisip,” Ka Allan said.
“Noong 2014, nakapag-isip na rin akong magpahinga, ang problema wala lang akong tao na gagamitin na tutulay para mag-surrender. ‘Yong mga taong tutulay sana para sa akin ay mukhang nagka-interes din kaya nasasagkaan ‘yong plano ko na magpahinga — parang may nagsasabotahe. Dalawang beses ako nag-attempt na sumuko, ang problema ay nasasabotahe,” he added.
He also said plans by their higher command to transfer him to Mindoro sped up his decision to finally lay down his arms and return to the fold of the law.
Ka Allan’s surrender came nearly a month after the capture of his party wife, Jenny Ann Bautista (alias Ka Helen), with Glendhyl Malabanan, Ronces Paraguso, also ranking leader Domingo “Ka Tino” Ritas, Joelito “Ka Jebar/Ka Tangkad” Tanilon, Bener “Ka Bata” Rimbuwan, and Awing “Ka Gitna” Lumpat.
Recruitment to the rebel movement
Ka Allan said he came to the province in 2008 and became a worker of Agumil Philippines, Inc., a palm oil company that operates in southern Palawan.
During this time, he said mining and palm oil became major issues that affected the indigenous peoples.
“Noong panahon na ‘yan, ‘yong mining at saka ‘yong palm oil ay naging [isyu] sa mga katutubo. Doon may nagdikit sa akin na taga-legal at naimbitahan ako kung puwede daw ako sumama muna sa mga rally — ‘yong MKM, ‘yong Mamamayan Kontra Mina. So, sumama [ako]… naimbitahan ako,” he said.
“After ko sumama doon sa rally ay inimbitahan akong mag-full time sa legal para kami na ‘yong mangangasiwa ng white area. ‘Yong unit na ng NPA ang nagsabi na mag-full time ako,” Ka Allan added.
In the NPA, the “white area” is where recruitment operations and mass actions of “legal fronts” are conducted, he said.
Recruitment, he added, is to supply new red fighters to the movement.
Ka Allan said this was in 2011, the year he also became a “simpleng mandirigma” who is known to have the courage and skills before rising in 2015 to become the BVC’s company commander in southern Palawan, and eventually, in the whole province.
Ka Allan said that with his surrender, their provincial command composed of the Virginia Casidsid and Mount Mantalingahan groups will fall.
“Provincial officer ‘yong katayuan ko kaya north and south ‘yong hawak ko. Bagsak talaga ‘yong morale ng mga taong naiwanan ko sa kilusan. Bagsak ‘yan. Guguho talaga ‘yan… ‘yong sa susunod pa dito sa akin. Pagtingin ko ‘yon kasi ‘yong tiwala ng mga tao sa akin syempre namumuno tayo tapos bigla tayong tatalikod, ang iisipin talaga nila ‘yong pinuno natin nagpahinga na, bakit tayo hindi pa. ‘Yon talaga ang iisipin ng mga mandirigma,” Ka Allan said.
Ka Allan believes the number of surrenderees in the following days will increase because he will be an example of the red fighters.
“Dahil sumuko ako, susuko din sila at gagayahin nila ang ginawa ko,” he said.