Various units of the Western Command (WESCOM) simultaneously held a candle lighting ceremony to pay tribute to  innocent civilians who have suffered from the alleged abuses of the New People’s Army (NPA), as the armed rebel group celebrated its 52nd anniversary.

In a press conference held Monday, Marky, a 17-year-old member of the Bienvenido Vallever Command (BVC) of the NPA who recently surrendered to government authorities in Barangay Marufinas, called the remaining member of the group to go back to the fold of law.

Some civilians who attended the candle lightning ceremony to pay tribute to innocent civilians who suffered alleged abuses of NPA. | Photo by MBLT3

“May mga nagpaplano na rin sa kanila na sumuko. Sa mga kasamahan ko dyan sa kabundukan, sumuko na kayo, nauna na akong sumuko,” Marky said.

“Masaya ako ngayon na nakasama ko ang aking mga magulang. May plano rin akong mag-aral, gusto ko rin mag-aral. Isa kasi sa pinangako nila na mabibigyan ako ng trabaho. Pero ngayon totoong makakapag-aral na ako,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jerwin Castigador, president of Kapatiran ng mga dating rebelde (KADRE) said there is no reason to celebrate the anniversary of the terrorist group after the damages they brought to the government.

“Sa kalagayan nila ngayon, ‘yong nangyari na namatay ang kanilang mga lider ay siguro sila ngayon ay hindi na nagdiriwang dahil doon. Sa palagay ko wala nang batayan na magdiwang pa sila,” Castigador said.

In San Vicente town, barangay officials of Kemdeng also held a candle lighting activity while a youth group in El Nido also condemned the NPA.

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