SORSOGON CITY, Sept 19 (PIA) – The 903rd (Fight and Defend) Infantry Brigade, 9th Infantry (SPEAR) Division, Philippine Army facilitated yesterday the formal surrender and presentation of one New People’s Army (NPA) Amazon through the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) to Provincial Administrator Robert Rodrigueza who represented Governor Raul Lee of the Province of Sorsogon.
Loradel Esquilon also known as Ka Sisa/ Ka Megan in the underground movement, logistics and finance staff (S4) of Komiteng Probinsyal (KOMPROB) Sorsogon, voluntarily surrendered to the elements of 31st Infantry Battalion of Philippine Army in Juban town earlier this month.
During the initial interview conducted, Loradel the only daughter of farmer parents “Ime” and “Ter” claimed that she was persuaded to join the NPA, the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), sometime in 2005 after she was promised of monetary support and alleviation from poverty. She then revealed that the repeated sexual advances towards her by top NPA leaders while she was inside the organization and the difficult life she constantly experienced while operating in the hinterlands of Sorsogon, which were contrary to everything she was first promised were the circumstances that prompted her to finally make the decision to leave the movement sometime in 2009. However, she only decided to formally come out into the mainstream society only this year after she was convinced of the good programs of the government for NPA surrenderees.
Loradel further revealed that upon her entry in the movement she underwent several training and teaching (Aralin) and eventually became a trusted follower of their leader, Andres Hubilla also known as Ka Magno, Secretary, KOMPROB, Sorsogon. She was later entrusted with the vital designation as Finance and Logistics Officer of the Central Committee covering the province of Sorsogon.
Voluntarily, she declared that as the S4, she received more or less P3,000,000.00 every month as collection money from businessmen, construction companies implementing road and other infrastructure projects and even from government officials. They were able to collect more money during election period from the imposition of Permit to Campaign (PTC).
Ka Sisa further claimed that aside from her, only two personalities from their group namely Ka Magno and Ka Anton have knowledge as to how much money they really get from the revolutionary tax. She also personally witnessed the extensive corruption of their top leaders pocketing millions of pesos for themselves at the expense of the ordinary red fighters who were suffering from lack of food and support for their personal needs. Additionally, she bitterly recalled how Ka Magno tried to rape her several times but was fortunate enough to avoid the lascivious advances. However, there were other female NPA members who were unfortunately succumbed to Ka Magno’s bestial desires.
Colonel Joselito Kakilala, Commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, who exercises operational control over the 31st Infantry Battalion, criticized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for violating the rights of the female NPA members. “First, they promised the people with good life while recruiting them. These communist leaders not only pocketed (corrupted) the millions of pesos collected from extortions for their own vested interests but also sexually abused/rape their female recruits. They are worst and inhuman,” Col Kakilala pathetically said.
Loradel yielded her one (1) M16 Rifle with magazines, ammo and subversive documents with high intelligence value. Under the AFP Guns for Peace Program, the surrenderee received the amount of P50,000.00 as part of the firearms remuneration package and other existing government assistance coming from the line government agencies.
Following the giving of cash reward, Brigadier General Yerson Depayso, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division assured her of the AFP’s protection as he called on her former comrades to respect her decision to live in peace. Gen. Depayso further encouraged the Local Government Units, the National Government Agencies, and the civil society organizations to work together in reaching to other members of the NPAs and convince them to return to their families.
“Naniniwala ako na ang mga NPA ay mga biktima lamang ng maling paniniwala dahil sa kanilang mahirap na kalagayan kaya sila ay dapat na iligtas at tulungan upang mailayo sa tiyak na kapahamakan (I believe that NPA members are victims of misguided belief due to their disadvantaged condition so we must save and help them before they face sure destruction),” he said. (BAR, PIA-5/Sorsogon/ALEamiguel, PA)