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PIA Press Release

Former NPA leader surrenders in Nueva Vizcaya

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (24 June) -- A former New People's Army leader recently surrendered to government authorities here.

Intelligence sources said Nestor Soriano, 42, alias Ka Rico, former leader of the defunct Nueva Vizcaya – Quirino Front Committee (NVQFC) surrendered to the Army's 54th Infantry Division based in barangay Bagumbayan, Dupax del Sur town last month after many years of hiding.

Soriano has been sent to the army's 5th Infantry Division in Camp Upi, Gamu, Isabela last week after undergoing tactical interrogation.

The NPA's Nueva Vizcaya – Quirino Front Committee where Soriano belonged as a former leader was quashed 3 years ago after intensified military operations in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces in pursuit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's commitment to crush insurgency in the country by 2010.

Community vigilance

Police Supt. Pedro R. Danguilan, police provincial director said the surrender of Soriano was a result of the government's continuing drive to end insurgency in the province.

He said remnants of the communist movement have failed to infiltrate the province due to the vigilance and support of local officials and residents specially in remote areas.

Early this month (June 8), elements of the army's 71st Infantry Batallion based in San Jose, Nueva Ecija engaged more than 24 NPA guerillas under the command of Ka Berto/Ambo into a firefight in barangay Bantinan in Sta. Fe town, touted as the gateway to Cagayan Valley.

At least two unidentified NPA guerillas were killed and two high powered firearms were recovered while government forces suffered no casualties.

Police report said that a day before the incident, Philippine army soldiers caught two residents carrying a cavan of rice and assorted items worth P5,000 which accordingly belonged to the communist rebels.

"This shows that the communist rebels coming from the neighboring provinces are attempting to enter our area and recruit strengthen their mass-based support but because of the vigilance of our local officials and residents, this attempt was stopped," Danguilan said.

Hall of famer

He said that for many years, Nueva Vizcaya has been a peaceful province due to the unending support of Novo Vizcayanos from public and private sectors.

"In fact, the Nueva Vizcaya Peace and Order Council (NVPOC) has been hailed as a Hall of Famer because of its multi-sectoral efforts in preserving and maintaining the tranquility of this province," Danguilan explained.

Nueva Vizcaya's transformation from an insurgency–infested category into a peaceful province can be traced from the early 80s as political leaders have been victims of Kangaroo courts and harassments of the NPA's shadow government.

Among these notable political leaders were governor Osias Cadiente, then Bambang mayor Benjamin Cuaresma II among others.

With the improving political governance which dealt on multi-sectoral approach and the improving local tax generation of the province, the provision and improvement of sufficient and necessary health services, educational opportunities, infrastructure(more roads and school buildings) and the continuing consultation among local officials, tranquility of the province have never waned. (bme/PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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