PAGADIAN CITY, Mar. 31 (PIA) - 57 former members and supporters of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) pledged recently their commitment to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTC-ELCAC) during the “Balik-Loob sa Gobyerno” program held at the Zamboanga del Sur Police Provincial Office Covered Court, Camp Major Reginaldo C. Abelon, Lumbia, Pagadian City.
The group of former rebels, also known as 'friends rescued' (FRs), were identified as supporters of insurgency in Dumingag. Among them, 9 were listed on the periodic status report and active supporters, 33 were non-listed but actively supporting, and 15 were non-listed and non-participating members of the communist terrorist groups (CTGs), mostly from Barangay Saad. The FRs also surrendered assorted firearms, including 21 long firearms and 9 short firearms.
Governor Victor J. Yu presided over the ceremony where the FRs pledged their commitment to support the NTF-ELCAC and rejected the misguided ideology of the terrorist groups they were previously affiliated with.
The provincial government also distributed a total of P456,000.00 in cash gifts, providing each FR with P8,000.00. They also received food packs from the provincial government and PNP PRO 9.
PBGen Neil B. Alinsañgan, regional director of the PNP-PRO9 stressed that armed terrorism is not the solution to societal issues, and that good governance and community cooperation are essential to achieving peace and progress.
Jeffry Señara, a 41-year-old chairman of Barangay Saad, said he ended his support for the CTG in 2017, seeing how it affected his livelihood and his family's security. He acknowledged their past shortcomings and called for a new beginning, urging the people to support the current government.
“Atong bag-uhon ang atong kaugalingon, suportahan ang atong tinuod nga gobyerno sa Republika ng Pilipinas”, Señara said.
(Let us improve ourselves, and support our true government in the Republic of the Philippines.)
The FRs' pledge of commitment and surrender of firearms are significant milestones in the government's efforts to end the decades-long communist insurgency in the country. (NBE/EDT/HTB/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)