BONTOC – Students, some government employees and representative from various sectors converged at the provincial plaza for an indignation rally last Wednesday, December 10, 2014 to denounce the New People’s Army (NPA) ambush killing Corporal (CPL) Moses M. Ing-inga and Private First Class (PFC) Kindja Hansel F. Onnon and wounding five others.
It will be recalled that members of the 54th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army (IB, PA) were ambushed by suspected members of the NPA at Sitio Pegeo, Tetep-an, Sagada while on their way home to Bontoc on November 30,2014. Said soldiers came from Sagada after conducting a three- days Leadership Youth Seminar at Sagada National High School.
In his message, Governor Leonard G. Mayaen was more straightforward. He urged the NPAs to pack their things out of the province and leave the people tend their own destiny. He said that it is time for the NPA to respect the will of the people. “With their arms, NPAs are not welcome in the province,” Mayaen declared as he reiterated his call for them (NPAs) to come down from the mountains and join the mainstream of the society.
Mayaen further said that his office is willing to assist any NPA from Mountain Province who wish to surrender and start life anew with his Livelihood for Rebel Returnee Program which he initiated in 2011. He explained that under this program, surrenderees are given monthly financial assistance in exchange for community service.” This is a program for the NPAs from Mountain Province to come down from the mountain, lay down their arms, live a normal life in the community and be with their parents and family”, Mayaen stressed.
The governor also commended the organizers of the indignation rally and the students who voiced out their desire for a peaceful community. With this, community people who attended the indignation rally calls for the NPA to be peace makers. They urge them to come down from the mountain, lay their arms and join the mainstream of the society. They further encouraged them to stop conducting ambushes against the uniformed personnel and negotiate with the government in a peaceful process.
Meanwhile, participants in the indignation rally lighted candles to further express their call for a peaceful Mountain Province.