A former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel who surrendered to authorities last week in Dipaculao town, this province, has reunited with his family, whom he has not seen in 12 years.
Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion (9IB), said on Tuesday that Berboy Calara Aviendo, alias Ka Jr/Berboy/Joey, 37, finally saw his parents, whom the troops transported all the way from Bulacan to the 9IB’s Alpha Company Headquarters in Dingalan town on Monday.
Rubio expressed joy that Aviendo’s family was complete.
He stated that one of their goals is to reunite former rebels and their families after a lengthy separation and provide them with the opportunity to live peaceful and happy lives that were stolen away by the communist terrorist group’s exploitation and recruitment.
“Everyone is born into a family. We need support and love that is why our troops transported the surrenderer’s parents inside our camp. They embraced each other, signifying that they really love no matter what happened. Family’s love and care are there that bring great joys to Aviendo,” Rubio said in an interview.
On January 17, the former terrorist surrendered to the 91st Infantry Battalion of Joint Task Force Kaugnay and turned over his firearm the next day.
Aviendo, who has been estranged from the organization since April of last year, surrendered an M14 weapon, as well as an M14 magazine and nine rounds of ammunition.
“Una sa lahat nagpapasalamat ako sa mga tumulong sa akin. Unang una sa Philippine Army na sila talaga yung pangunahing nagasikaso sa akin at lubos akong natutuwa sa mga nangyari sa akin ngayon dahil sa tinagal tagal po ng panahon na ako ay nasa kabila at ngayon ay nakita ko na mga kapatid at mga magulang ko kaya lubos lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa Philippine Army lalong lalo na sa lahat ng kasundaluhan dito sa Aurora,” the former rebel quoted as saying.
Rubio reaffirmed his call for the terrorist group’s remaining members to lay down their arms and participate in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
According to the E-CLIP, a former rebel is entitled to PHP15,000 in urgent help, PHP50,000 in livelihood support, and PHP12,000 to PHP500,000 in firearms payment, among other things.
The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have designated the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as a terrorist group.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Terrorism Council recognized the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, identifying it as “an integral and seperate part” of the CPP-NPA formed in April 1973.
Former NPA rebel in Aurora reunites with family after 12 years|PNA