MAWAB, Davao de Oro- A New Peoples Army (NPA) member led the 71st Infantry Battalion to an arms cache which contained two high powered firearms in Barangay Rizal, Monkayo in Davao de Oro.
The surrenderer was identified as Julieto M Refuela alyas Dan/Bihan, 29, of Purok 4 Brgy Rizal, Monkayo, Davao de Oro. He was a fulltime NPA member serving as a political guide of the Guerilla Front 20, Sub-Regional Committee 1, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
Bihan decided to surrender to the 71st "Kaibigan" Infantry Battalion and on Sunday (July 5) revealed the location of the arms cache containing two (40mm) M79 grenade launchers. The 71IB in coordination with the 67IB and 25IB located and recovered the said cache.
The grenade launchers were brought to 71IB headquarters for proper disposition,
Bihan said he left the NPA because he missed his family so much and wanted to start earning a decent living.
"Lisod sa kalihokan kay di man ko paulion bisan gimingaw na kaayo ko sa ako pamilya,". (Being in the NPA was very hard for me because I was not allowed to go home even though I already missed my family so much) he said in his dialect. Bihan has 2 sons, Julian (5 years old) and Almar (1 year old).
He said his family did not receive a single penny from the CPP-NPA, despite promising him of what he termed as "Suporta sa Pamilya."
Bihan revealed he was further indoctrinated with deceptive ideologies as he underwent courses given by the CPP-NPA such as PADEPA or Pambansang Demokratikong Paaralan, Basic Party Course, Intermediate Course and Batakang Kurso sa Partido Militar. All these courses contain subjects that aim to advance CPP-NPA ideologies and beliefs.
Bihan is currenrly in the custody of the 71st IB and is undergoing debriefing prior to enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
Lt. Col. Sonny Gonzales, 71IB commander said that the surrender of Bihan is a manifestation that the 71IB is continuously winning the hearts and minds of the people even among the NPA members themselves.
Last month, the 71st IB in coordination with the member agencies of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) facilitated the benefits of 16 former rebels through the Enhanced Comprehensive and Local Integration Program (ECLIP) that offers cash and livelihood assistance to its beneficiaries. (PIA/RG Alama with reports from 71IB)