CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union – The government anti-terrorism campaign scored a major victory when a high-ranking officer of the New People’s Army operating in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions surrendered here yesterday.
Senior Supt Angelito Dumangeng, La Union Police director, identified the rebel leader as Manuel Arpid, alias “Ka Manuel,” of Tinglayan, Kalinga province, a political affairs officer of the local communist terrorist group. He turned over an M14 Armalite rifle allegedly used by rebel snipers.
Dumangeng said the surrender of “Ka Manuel” was a result of intensified intelligence monitoring by joint operatives of La Union
intelligence operatives, the Regional Intelligence Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and military units.
“The successful and non-violent means to win over our brothers to rejoin the society’s mainstream, is our yearning for them to have healthier and better lives,” Dumangeng said.
“Ka Manuel” called on his comrades to lay down their arms and live normal lives with their families.
The rebel returnee entered the NPA organization in 1980 and his 20-year armed struggle exacted a heavy toll on his health. He told
reporters he wanted to recuperate and help his family. It was a useless struggle, according to him.
“Ka Manuel” was the third insurgent this year to return to the folds of the law after experiencing the harsh life in the mountains and undoubtedly realizing that armed struggle would not bring them anywhere.
Under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program, a rebel returnee is entitled to receive financial support and other government assistance through the Department of Interior Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Local Government. Jun Elias/northboundasia.com