Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City, Samar –A member of the Communication staff of Santiago Salas, Spokesperson of NPA Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee surrendered to the 34th Infantry Battalion on March 19, 2014.
A certain aka “Marivic”, a member of the communication staff of Salas surrendered to Lt Col Rodrigo Ilustrisimo, Commanding officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion.
Based on the account narrated by aka “Marivic”, her reason for leaving the rebel movement was due to hardship of living a life that is always on the run. In addition, she said that she was not taken cared of by the rebel organization when she suffered a serious illness. Further, adding to her decision to join the mainstream of the society were the programs of the government that benefit rebels like her who wish to surrender.
Former rebels are entitled to avail of the AFP Guns for Peace Program, from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process’ Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP and the Local Social Integration Program of Local Government Units. The benefits from these programs are enough for a former rebel to start a new life.
Based on the record of this headquarters, 24 NPA rebels already surrendered to 8ID from January 2014 to date. Six already received firearm’s remuneration under the AFP Guns for Peace Program, while the rest who have not yet received their benefits under the government programs enumerated are still processing their claims.
Maj Gen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, the Commander of the 8th Infantry Division said: “For more than 44 years since the founding of New People’s Army on March 29, 1969, the armed struggle the NPA waged has not solved any of our problems, rather it caused more.”
“It is heartening that aka “Marivic” acknowledged the futility of staying inside the rebel movement and took advantage of the government's integration programs for former rebels. Her decision provides her an opportunity to return to her family and live a peaceful, normal and productive life,” he added.