7 Reds, supporters yield during Bukidnon medical mission

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IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon — Seven New People’s Army (NPA) regulars surrendered to government authorities during a medical and social service outreach in Dumalaguing village of this town on Thursday, the military said.

During the outreach, known in the indigenous language as “Magbuliga Kuy,” 68 sympathizers of the communist rebel movement in the village also withdrew their support to the NPA, the 8th Infantry Battalion said in a statement released on Friday.

Assisted by the military, “Magbuliga Kuy” is a program of the local government unit that aims to bring the basic services closer to its residents, especially in the hinterlands.

During the outreach, all local offices answered all queries from individuals while delivering basic social services, the 8IB said.

Thursday’s outreach benefited some 680 residents who availed of medical and dental services, the Army unit said.

Mayor Anthony Uy expressed his gratitude to the NPA members and supporters who surrendered.

“Thank you to all of you for realizing that you have been deceived, I swear to bring more services to our community and assure you that you will benefit from it,” Uy said.

He also reiterated his support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70, which institutionalizes the “whole of nation approach” in addressing the communist insurgency and creating a task force to end the local communist armed conflict.

This week alone, the 8IB said it has recorded 26 NPA members who surrendered within its area of jurisdiction in Bukidnon.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, 8IB commander, said this trend points to the looming disintegration of the communist rebel movement in the province.

Illana said that the NPA suffers from the lack of NPA leadership “in our area of responsibility in Bukidnon.”

“The whole-of-nation approach of the government is toppling the local communist terrorist group,” he added.

He said the surrenderers will be enrolled in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program for them to avail of incentives and financial assistance. -PNA

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