BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
More supporters of the New People’s Army pledged allegiance to the government in Brgy. Mahalang, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, Lt. Col. Angelo Guzman, 94th Infantry Battalion commander, said.
The 200 former rebel supporters are residents of sitios Canluki, Dobol Yarding, Yunit 1, Florido, Dao, Baclayan and 500IB, all of Brgy. Mahalang, Guzman said.
He also reported that barangay officials passed a resolution declaring the NPA persona non grata in their community.
For the past decades, Mahalang had been a traditional area for consolidation activities of the NPA, and the recruitment of new members and gathering of logistics, Guzman said.
He attributed the surrender of about 200 NPA supporters to the active participation and support of Mahalang barangay officials, led by Aileen Vasquez, in tandem with the Community Support Program teams of 94IB and 11IB, that immersed with the populace since October this year.
The activity, held at the Mahalang National High School in Himamaylan City, was highlighted by the burning of a CPP-NPA flag, and witnessed by Maj. Romeo Vargas, Himamaylan City police chief, and Dr. Jose Rey Tamparong of the City Veterinary Office, among others.
Through the CSP, Vasquez said her constituents realized the sincerity of the government in its peace and development efforts. When hundreds of former NPA supporters take a stand against the terrorist group, it is an indication that the government’s concerted efforts to achieve peace, security, and progress are effectively felt even by those in the hinterlands, Col. Leonardo Peña, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said in a statement issued by his unit.*