SORSOGON CITY, 21Sept2013 (BicolToday.com) – A number of media practitioners and journalists were dismayed Thursday morning when the 9th IB of the 9th ID Philippine Army presented a rebel returnee at the capitol training center here whom the army admitted that she was already in the mainstream this year. The alleged ranking rebel identified as Loradel Esquilon is said to be non-active in the movement since 2009.
The Army statement released by Capt. Arthur L. Eamiguel of the 9th Infantry Brigade in Poblacion, Castilla, Sorsogon said that the alleged NPA rebel Loradel Esquilon also known as Ka Sisa/Ka Megan left the movement in 2009, deciding to formally come out in the mainstream society only this year after she was convinced of the good programs of the government for NPA surrenderees. The army release said further that Esquilon was the logistics and finance staff (S4) of Komiteng Probinsyal (KOMPROB) Sorsogon, voluntary surrendered to the elements of 31st Infantry Battalion in Juban, Sorsogon earlier this month.
Esquilon further revealed that upon 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 3 million pesos every month as collection money from businessman, 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 o PTCs (Permit to Campaign), as stated in the army release.
Esquilon surrendered an M16 riffle with magazines with live ammo and subversive documents. She also 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.
Regional media in attendance were wary because of the blunder of Donsol PNP in presenting an alleged NPA surrenderee whose pronouncements about the movement were hard to believe.
They also want an investigation into the alleged surrender of Merjel O. Nebria alias Ka Joy, reportedly vice commanding officer of the NPA Larangan No. 2 operating in Donsol, Sorsogon, as they said they doubt the information they got from him and the police.
Sorsogon rebel said in their statement that Nebria was a fake NPA and the alleged “surrender” is an ongoing ” syndicated racket” to collect reward money and to fast track promotions in the military and police establishments.
Some capitol employees who requested anonymity were not symphatetic the way the army was soliciting media mileage saying, “Akala namin mataas na opisyal, di naman pala at matagal na pala itong bumaba mula sa kabundukan”. So what is the intention of this press conference? Parang nadaya kayong mga taga media, gusto lang siguro ng media mileage at nagamit pa kayo sa kanilang propaganda”, was their observation.
They said, that the government should focus comprehensively to battle the real cause of armed struggle not just a mere propaganda at the expense of this alleged rebel. “Ano na ngayon manggyayari dun sa amazona? Sana tinutukan nila ang pangmatagalang solusyon, ituloy nila ang peace talks”.
Brigadier General Yenson Depayso, 9th Infantry Division commander gave Esquilon an assurance of AFP’s protection as he called on her former comrades to respect her decision to live in peace.
Gen. Depayso further encourage the local government units, the civil government agencies, civil society organizations to work together in reaching to other members of the New People’s Army and convince them to return to their families. [BicolToday.com]