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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (January 29) — The military and police are preparing for the endorsement of three former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and seven members of the NPA’s “Milisya ng Bayan” who surrendered voluntarily in this city and Bukidnon to avail of government assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
In a statement Friday, Police Col. Aaron Mandia, the Acting Director of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO), commended the decision of the surrenderers to return to the fold of the law.
“It is the best time to be with the government, and avail the programs and privileges the government (through E-CLIP) has to offer for all those who are willing to decide to have a new life by laying down their arms and be with their loves ones in the mainstream society,” he said.
E-CLIP is a program of the government to help the former rebels return to mainstream society with their families, with different projects and livelihood offered by partner agencies.
Mandia said in his report Noag Cabucayan, 19, and his brother Omar, 21 – two of the three NPA members who surrendered – were said to be members of the NPA under Guerrilla Front (GF) 12 of the Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 5 Crackers Company.
Omar was said to be the team leader of SRC5.
The two surrendered on January 28 in Barangay Tuburan, which was facilitated by the COCPO’s City Mobile Force Company.
Meanwhile, the third NPA surrendered, Hodi Singayan Almahan, 35, and the seven “Milisya ng Bayan” members surrendered to the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) in Impasugon, Bukidnon on January 23, and are also awaiting to be enrolled in E-CLIP.
Almahan, resident of Barangay Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, is a former squad 2 leaders of Platoon Copper, Headquarters Force Neo of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
During his surrender, he brought with him an M16 Rifle, four short magazines, and six live ammunition.
Almahan said his party wife Hailyn Saplidan Almahan, former Medic or Supply Officer of the same unit, and his relative Ayon Almahan, also of the same unit, died after an encounter with government troops at the hinterlands of Sitio Tamyang, Barangay Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur on May 8, 2021.
“I was in great sorrow and was disheartened with the NPA because, after the death of my wife and relative, they left me. I regretted joining the NPA after the sufferings I had endured,” the 8IB’s statement quoted him as saying in the vernacular.
The seven “Milisya” members who joined Almahan were Noli Almahan Guilosan, 32; Jerry Fabiana Saplidan, 20; Benedy Odinlay Flores, 27; Wilson Fabiana Saplidan, 18; Manlistahan Buscada Saplidan, 75; a minor,” 17; and Jemalyn Saplidan Almahan, 27.
Lt. Col. Anthony Bacus, Commander of 8IB, said he was delighted that Almahan and his relatives decided to surrender.
“We were able to save another family. We will help them avail of the benefits from the E-CLIP for their better future,” he said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.