CATARMAN, NO. SAMAR – A barangay chairman and a member of the village council who have been supporting the New People’s Army (NPA) for years formally withdrew their support to the communist movement and surrendered to the government in Gamay, Northern Samar last February 1, 2023. 

Pedro Pajanustan, 54 years old and village chief of Brgy. Bonifacio, Barangay Kagawad, Anaclito Pedejero, 59, and four other village residents voluntarily surrendered after a series of negotiations facilitated by police officers of Gamay Municipal Police Station, 2nd Northern Samar Provincial Mobile Force Company and Community Support Program teams of the 20th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army. 

Police Provincial Director Col. Alfredo Tadefa identified Pajanustan and Pedejero as legal front members of Batakang Organisayon Pampulitika (BOP).

The four other residents who surrendered were identified as Pedrito Capoquian, 60, and Agosto Esponilla, 70, who are both farmers; Vilma Capoquian, 48, chairperson of women’s sector; and Edito Capoquian Jr, 30, a member of Yunit Militia of the NPA.

Tadefa lauded the six former communist members for their courage to renounce the communist organization and their desire to live a peaceful life.

“All of them desire a new and peaceful life together with their families after decades of struggle with the communist terrorist groups. This is the result of the consistent peace-building programs of the government,” Tadefa said.

Tadefa said all the six surrenderers will receive assistance from the government through the local government unit of Gamay. “We are hoping that more of them will continue to trust the programs of our government for the benefit of our province towards sustainable peace and development,” he added. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail Jan. 31-Feb. 5, 2023 issue)