Fri, 04 Dec 2020

39 former UGMO members in Ilocos Sur town vow allegiance to the gov't

Philippine Information Agency
23 Oct 2020, 17:38 GMT+10

SANTIAGO, Ilocos Sur, Oct. 23 (PIA) - - Another 39 members of the Underground Mass Organizations (UGMO) in Ilocos Sur withdrew their support to Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) and pledged their loyalty to the government in a ceremony held at Barangay Salincub covered court here on Oct. 20.

These 39 UGMO members came from the following groups: three from Sangay sa Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL), 22 from Pambansang Kilusan ng Magsasaka (PKM), eight from Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA), and six from Kabataang Makabayan (KB).

According to 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion (IB) Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Marinas, Jr. of the Philippine Army (PA), the activity was a result of the joint efforts of the Community Support Program (CSP) team of Alpha Company 81IB, Santiago Municipal Police Station, and the local government unit (LGU) through its municipal task force in ending local communist armed conflict.

"This is a part ng peace at reconciliation effort ng Philippine Army sa area sa pamamagitan ng support ng LGU para maliwanagan ang mga residente lalong-lalo na ang mga kabataan at kababaihan dito para matigil na ang pagsuporta nila sa Komiteng Larangan Gerilya - South Ilocos Sur (KLG-SIS) at pagtigil ng paglilinlang nila sa mga residente rito," said Lieutenant Colonel Marinas.

Said UGMO members also pledged loyalty to the Flag (Panunumpa sa Watawat) and took their Oath of Allegiance to the government in a ceremony officiated by Vice Mayor Adrien Lawrence Miranda.

After the ceremony, the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) in Ilocos Sur conducted profiling of the said UGMO members and had them fill out Learner's Profile Form for the conduct of Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II under the Special Training for Employment Program (STEP), funded by the Office of Second District Representative Kristine Singson.

It will be conducted by the Tagudin Institute of Science and Technology, Inc., a Technical Vocational Institution which undertakes specialized training activities for TESDA accredited programs.

In his message, Vice Mayor Miranda thanked the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police for working hand-in-hand in keeping their municipality peaceful, thus ending insurgency in the affected barangay.

"Hindi lamang ang mga kasama natin dito na dating miembro ng UGMO ang naisalba mula sa maling impluwensya kundi ang buong Barangay Salincub at Bayan ng Santiago dahil isa sa mga taktika ng kabilang grupo ay once na maka-recruit sila, inuutusan nila ang mga ito na mag-recruit pa ng iba kaya patuloy na lumalaki ang bilang ng mga kumakalaban sa gobyerno. Kaya naman nagpapasalamat kami sa Philippine Army dahil napigilan itong mangyari at sana wala ng residente sa ating bayan ang malinlang pa ng mga CTGs," he said.

In her testimony, Alias 'Gigi', a member of the women and the youth sector in barangay Salincub who was one of the said UGMO members, narrated some of her experiences during her stay in the mountains with the CTGs.

"Mahirap po kasi kapag naipit ka sa sitwasyon kaya ginusto ko ring sumama sa kanila sa bundok para makita ko iyong sitwasyon nila pero isa sa mga na-experience ko ay tinuruan nila kami kung paano magkalas ng baril. Alam ko po na mali iyon," she said.

"Nilinlang nila kami sa pamamagitan ng pananakot kaya nagpapasalamat kami sa Philippine Army at binuksan nila ang aming isipan sa mga maling gawain nila," Alyas 'Mario' added.

Alyas 'Toto', one of the said UGMO members and a barangay official, is hopeful that through this, barangay Salincub will remain insurgency-free maintaining its peacefulness and continuing its progress and development.

"Sa pamamagitan ng programa ng gobyerno, naputol na ang komunikasyon ng ating barangay at mga NPA. Kaya aking mga kabarangay, pahalagahan natin ang aral na ito dahil sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag-usap o pagbibigay natin ng kahit kaunting tulong sa kabilang grupo ay malaki na ang epekto sa insurhensya na siyang problema natin ngayon. Nagmamakaawa kami na sana'y pagtulong-tulungan natin na panatilihin ang kapayapaan upang magtutuloy-tuloy ang progreso sa ating barangay," he said.

Earlier, 42 UGMO members in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur also withdrew their support from the CTGs.

Through the continuous efforts of the CSP teams deployed in various CTG affected areas in the province, with the help of the LGUs, more UGMO members will be enlightened and withdraw their allegiance to the CTGs in the pursuit of ending insurgency in Ilocos Sur. (JCR/JPD/JMQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)

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