Army’s 301st IB renews call for rebels to embrace peace

Some of the items recovered from the site in Janiuay, Iloilo where soldiers and rebels traded bullets on November 21. (301IB photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

More than a month ahead of the Communist Party of the Philippines’s founding anniversary, the Philippine Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade renewed its call for rebels to reconsider the path of peace.

Brigadier General Michael Samson, 301st IB commander, has urged remaining members of the New People’s Army, the CPP’s armed wing in Panay, to surrender following yet another clash between the soldiers and suspected rebels afternoon of Nov. 21 in Janiuay, Iloilo.

“I am reiterating our call for peace and for the remaining NPAs to abandon their armed struggle that has victimized innocent civilians. Umuwi na kayo sa mga mahal niyo sa buhay at mamuhay ng mapayapa kasama ang inyong mga pamilya,” he said.

Samson assured that the government would be helping those who would get back to mainstream society.

Also, “We will ensure your safety and we will guide you towards a peaceful life,” he said.

On December 26, the NPAs will be celebrating its 55th founding anniversary.

Samson said that their call for peace spoke about the government’s commitment to assisting those who choose to disengage from armed conflicts and encouraging a return to peaceful coexistence.

It can be noted that the recent encounter between members of the 82nd Infantry (Bantay Laya) Battalion and suspected members of the Baloy Platoon of the NPA Komiteng Rehiyon– Panay (KR-P)‘s Central Front happened at Sitio Matagsim, Barangay Aglobong, Janiuay.

The rebels were allegedly led by a certain Rolando Duaz alias Kaduy.

The clash, which happened around 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday, lasted for about 15 minutes.

There was no casualty on the government side while the Phil. Army is not discounting that there were those who were injured on the side of the rebels.

After the incident, the government troops recovered a caliber .45 pistol, two magazines and 29 pieces of ammunition for caliber .45 pistol, a medical kit with assorted medicines, a mobile phone, a jungle pack, three kilos of rice, a hammock, two poncho tents, and various personal belongings.

Samson has lauded the residents for providing crucial information about the rebels’ presence.

He said that “the residents, who have long endured fear due to the insurgents, played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of the military operation.”