SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Nov. 27 -- An active member of New People's Army (NPA) finds her way back to the mainstream after she successfully surrendered to the Community Support Program Team in Barangay Quezon, Surigao City on November 12.
Based on the report, the said personality was identified as alias Leilan (true name is being withheld for security), 19 years old, a regular member of SYP16B, Guerilla Front 16, NEMRC, and a resident of Purok Avocado of the same barangay.
In her return to the folds of the law, she turned over one Caliber .45 and a hand grenade to the combined elements of Charlie Company, 29th Infantry Battalion, 1st Surigao del Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company, and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 13.
Regretful of her involvement with the Communist Terrorists Group (CTG), she disclosed that she joined the underground movement hoping that it will give her a better status of living.
She said that the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) are using lies such as financial support and scholarship to encourage the youth to join and support their agenda.
She further revealed that her first involvement with the said group includes joining the underground mass organization in their locality wherein they are being mobilized in mass actions and rallies.
She also said that she served as a courier of the armed group before she was formally recruited to be a regular NPA member.
Leilan cited that she was radicalized together with other young recruits through indoctrinations and "teach-ins" about communist ideology and propaganda to inculcate culture hatred against the government.
Realizing her mistakes, she said that for several times she asked permission to return home but her superiors prevented her to do so. She admitted that she was only allowed to leave the group when she got pregnant by her team leader. For months, she went on hiding until she decided to surface and formally surrender to be reunited with her family and live a normal life.
Meanwhile, Colonel George L. Banzon, commander of 901st Infantry (Fight'Em) Brigade, said that he was grateful of the decision of the former rebel to totally abandon the armed struggle.
Taking the case of lias Leilan, Col. Banzon stressed that it is a clear manifestation of communist's exploitation of the youth.
"The communist terrorists are opportunists who capitalize on the vulnerabilities of our youth and the case alias Leilan was a classic example of this. By luring her to join the violent armed struggle, the CTG deprived her with the opportunity to have a better future. Indeed, her situation is difficult knowing that she is now facing the responsibilities and challenges of being a parent after she was exposed into a situation where she was not supposed to be in," he said.
In coordination with the local government unit (LGU) and other government agencies, Col. Banzon said that they will help the victim to avail of the benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
"The government door is always open for those who will choose to surrender. Through our local task force to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC), we will help her to avail the government programs intended for them so that she will have a new lease of life after her miserable experiences with the CTG," Col. Banzon said.
Meanwhile, Col. Banzon reminded the local populace to be careful and watchful against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) - NPA - National Democratic Front's (NDF's) deceitful tactics so that they will not fall into the communist's trap.
"We are hoping that the surrender of alias Leilan may serve as a reminder for everyone, especially to the parents to be vigilant so that their children will not end up victims of the CNTs," said Col. Banzon. (901st Infantry Brigade/PIA-Surigao del Norte)