Top Mindanao NPA leader yields, denounces ex-comrades

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A ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered on August 2 after being fed up with the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) “cyclic and futile cause.”

Eduardo S. Genelsa alias “Lando” of Barangay Bongabong, Pantukan, Davao de Oro served dual positions as commander of the Pulang Bagani Company 3 and staff for Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Now 61, Genelsa had spent 42 years holding various top positions in the NPA ranks and was involved in numerous raids and armed confrontations against police and army installations and personnel that took place in various parts of southern Mindanao starting in 1979.

Asked why he decided to surrender, he said he had realized that they were only being exploited in a revolution that is seeing no end but the demise of many young people enticed in what he calls a “fancy revolution,” citing that it is, in reality, a “money-making scheme” for the benefit of only their higher echelon leaders.

Available court archives show Genelsa has a standing warrant of arrest for robbery and has been charged for double, multiple, and frustrated murder.

He was first captured in 2016 but was included among the released peace negotiators for the National Democratic Front (NDF) in the same year, which was facilitated by a certain Jay Apiag of PASAKA SMR and Sheena Duazo of Karapatan SMR.

Genelsa went into hiding when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered their capture after the peace talks bogged down in 2017.

He will be accorded benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP) and amnesty programs of the government but will still be subject to the criminal charges he is facing.

He is now undergoing custodial debriefing at an undisclosed location for safety reasons.

Genelsa is just one of the many CPP-NPA leaders who have surrendered, with the latest taking place just within a week when Ariane Jane Ocheta Ramos alias “Marikit”, secretary of Guerrilla Front 55 under the SMRC, surrendered to the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) on August 1.

Maj. Gen. Ernesto C. Torres Jr., 10ID commander, expressed his appreciation for the bold move undertaken by Genelsa and vowed to ensure his safety.

“We attribute the surrender to the strong participation of communities and the strong commitment of government agencies to the cause of ending the communist insurgency. Together in one spirit against the scourge of insurgency, we were able to gain ground yet again in the name of peace and development of Davao and adjacent regions”, Torres said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

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