Rebels’ surrender indicates the end of NPA in Leyte

A military official announced on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, that 32 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) pledged allegiance to the government, resulting in the communist terrorist group’s potential demise on Leyte Island.

The move, according to Col. Noel Vestuir, deputy commander of the Philippine Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade, will persuade more rebels and their ardent allies to renounce communist doctrine.

“The series of surrender would snowball into the eventual total collapse of the communist terrorism movement in the island of Leyte,” Vestuir said.

At least 32 former rebels swore allegiance to the Philippine government in front of Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez in the city hall lobby on October 16.

In the last two months, these former insurgents have surrendered to the troops.

Three hundred (300) former rebels and allies from Ormoc, Kananga, Albuera, and Jaro, who also received basic assistance from government agencies, were present for the ceremony.

They are all members of the Integrated Peace and Development Workers Associations (IPDWAs).

“The yielding of the 32 lie-low NPA personalities was a product of the sole and painstaking efforts of the Ormoc IPDWA that is composed of local rebel returnees under the leadership of Conrado Labartine,” Vestuir added.

Nineteen (19) people from Quezon Jr. village, eight from Lake Danao village, three from Hugpa village, and one each from San Antonio and Can-untog villages are among the 32 surrenderers.

Former NPA district committee members, the chairman of the Batakang Organisasyon sa Partido, regular fighters, a special operation group element, Yunit Militia members, a propaganda organizing team operator, a runner, a paralegal, and supporters of the underground mass organization were identified.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA), which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, 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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