DUMAGUETE CITY – A total of 40 supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Barangay Carol-an, Ayungon in Negros Oriental are now under validation following their recent surrender to the 94th Infantry Battalion (94IB) of the Philippine Army.
Capt. Oliver Usog, 94th IB’s Civil-Military Officer/spokesperson, in an interview Friday afternoon said these individuals also surrendered 40 firearms to the battalion’s Community Support Program (CSP) Sustainment Team early this week.
This is the result of sustained “immersion” in their barangay from October to December of last year, Usog said.
Those who surrendered are still being processed to determine whether they are merely mass base supporters or members of the NPA’s Yunit Militia, he said.
The CSP is one of the Philippine Army’s programs to encourage NPA supporters and members to depart from the underground movement and return to mainstream society, he added.
Usog said Barangay Carol-an chairman Osias G. Teves initiated among his constituents the surrender of 22 shotguns, six .357 caliber pistols, eight .38 caliber revolver handguns, three 9mm pistols and one KG9 9mm pistol machine gun.
Lt. Col. Angelo S. Guzman, 94IB commander, lauded the efforts of the CSP team and Teves for this accomplishment.
Barangay Carol-an was previously classified as an NPA-influenced barangay.
Last Jan. 12, the barangay was declared cleared of insurgency by the Philippine Army’s higher headquarters.
Usog said the Army continues its CSP in different areas in the province as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s whole-of-nation approach under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). (PNA)