Some 13 members of the Communist Terrorist Group or NPA surrendered to the Samar Provincial Task Force ELCAC, and presented themselves to authorities at the Abanador Hall, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Catbalogan City.
Sometime in December of 2022, they decided to abandon the Bugsok Platoon of SRC Sesame of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC) and renounced their membership from communist group.
“Our anti-insurgency campaign together with our ELCAC programs have proven to be fruitful.”
Samar Vice Governor Arnold Tan shared Governor Sharee Ann Tan’s message which says, “We have reaped what we have sown. Our anti-insurgency campaign together with our ELCAC programs have proven to be fruitful. Today, we welcome another batch of former rebels who have returned to the folds of the law.”
“We are committed to provide our peacebuilders a better living environment.”
“Earlier today, we processed their documents, from the initial interview, to medical and dental check up and other needed social services. This is how we welcome our former rebels, we take care of them and attend to their needs. We are committed to provide our peacebuilders a better living environment,” the vice governor added.
The surrender of the former rebels was influenced by the localized talks conducted between them and the Local Peace Engagement Panel members of the PTF-ELCAC. They have likewise been apprised of the benefits of their surrender and how the government attends to their needs.
The surrenderers include its platoon leader, a political guide/instructor, a squad leader, a vice- squad leader, and several squad members.
They have presented themselves to the different units under 801st Infantry Brigade, namely, 63 Infantry Battalion (IB), 46IB and 78IB. On the other hand, two FRs surrendered to the Samar Police Provincial Office.
The Commander of 8ID, PA, MGen Camilo Ligayo lauded the efforts of 801st Brigade and the three battalions, for their exemplary performance. He also thanked the members of the LPE panel for their significant contribution to the accomplishment of the mission of Samar PTF ELCAC.
Along with their surrender, nine (9) high-powered rifles, three pistols, one anti-personnel mine, three detonators, hundreds of ammunitions, medical paraphernalia, and subversive documents were retrieved. They have likewise led soldiers to different cache locations.
The Bugsok Platoon operates in the quad-boundaries of Basey, Marabut, Pinabacdao and Calbiga, all in Samar. It is currently headed by a certain Lupito Bucatcat alias Junio, Demit or Marso. The latest location of the group was reported to be in the mountains along the boundary of Basey and Marabut, Samar.
Meanwhile, initial revelations of the FRs show that platoon is experiencing difficulties in terms of food sustenance, hardship due to constant movement to evade government troops, fear of drones and air bombardment, and morale problem due to sharp decline of the support of the masses.
They have likewise disclosed that more of their former comrades are willing to come down as well, only that they fear that their surrender might lead to incarceration. To answer this concern, the PTF-ELCAC has signified its willingness to provide legal assistance to those with Warrants of Arrest once they decide to surrender. Aside from this, the body endeavors to expedite the processing of their benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and the Local Social Integration Program of the Province.
Any member of the NPA who wishes to surrender may approach any local government official, punong barangays, or any security unit, as they will help facilitate the meeting with the LPE panel.
To date, the province has recorded some 630 former rebels who have surrendered since the start of the ELCAC program of the province.