Philippines Social Integration Program draws insurgents back into folds of law
Tacloban City, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Social Integration Program for rebel returnees is truly drawing communist terrorists back into the folds of the law.
One more rebel member of Buhawi Platoon, Mount Amandewin Command, voluntarily surrendered to the elements of the 19th Infantry Battalion stationed at Barangay Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte, just a few days after the successful surrender of New People’s Army (NPA) leader Luciano Casinillo alias Olang.
In a press release of Philippine Information Agency, the surrenderee was identified as communist terrorist Michael Meñoza Aligato aka Neil or Ben, a native of Barangay Sagkahan, Kananga, Leyte, First Lieutenant Gabriel Aranez, spokesman of the 19th Infantry Battalion.
The surrender was made possible through the mediation of Kananga Mayor Elmer C. Codilla, who turned over Aligato to Lt. Colonel Roberto S. Capulong, Battalion Commander of the 19th IB, on March 18, 2009.
At the time of his surrender Aligato brought along with him his Caliber .357 revolver with six rounds of ammunitions. Alias Neil revealed that the group of Communist Terrorists under Alias Joe, Lowie or Marco is frequently visiting his barangay and conducting ideological, political and organizing works.
Alias Joe convinced Alias Neil and his wife Marilou Aligato to attend and later to join their activities. Their group operated mainly in the hinterlands of the third and fourth districts of Leyte, Alias Neil said.
Sometime in November 2006, when Alias Neil’s wife Marilou was arrested due to her participation, as spotter, in the assassination of Sgt Analasan, Neil started to realize the insincerity of the movement to help its members. From then on, he went on lie low and stayed with his children.
Upon learning of other former rebels who have re-established a new life through the programs of the government, particularly the livelihood assistance of the Provincial Government, the Local Government of Kananga and the Social Integration Program being implemented through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Neil was convinced that the government is sincere of giving attention and help to those who were formerly victims of the false ideology of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Mayor Elmer Codilla and Battalion Commander, Lt. Colonel Capulong, welcomed Aligato, with open arms, as they reiterated their commitment to help mainstream returning rebels to the society so that they and their families could once again live normal, productive and decent lives.
The surrender of Michael Meñoza Aligato alias Neil or Ben and those who surrendered before him is but a clear manifestation of the growing discontent among the members to the movement. With the continuous effort and programs now offered to rebels, it is expected that more CT members will lay down their firearms, support the government and live in the free society.
The Mayor of Kananga, Mayor Elmer Codilla and the Bn Commander 19IB, have welcomed Aligato with open arms and vowed to reinvigorate the lives of those rebels who wish to live a normal and decent life.
Tags: Rebels , Communist , Terrorists , Insurgents , CPP , NPA , NDF , Leyte , Samar , Philippines
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