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Pregnant top NPA leader surrenders




THE EASTERN Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) is facilitating assistance to a pregnant leader of the New People’s Army guerrilla unit after her surrender to the joint military forces in Sitio Lamuak, Barangay Catilacan, Pikit, North Cotabato on August 1.

She was identified as Ariane Jane Ochate Ramos, the secretary-general of the Guerrilla Front 55 (GF55), Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee. 

Marikit has long been under the radar of the military for her involvement in several extortion activities and armed clashes with the troops. She was also affiliated with the League of Filipino Students and Gabriela Youth.

Marikit was the party wife of Rommel Tausan alias Rommel, the former commanding officer of SRGU/GF 55, SRC5, SMRC who died in an armed encounter with the 27th Infantry Battalion. At present, she is in a relationship with Daniel Bandalan alias Regoy, the current commanding pfficer of GF55, SRC5, SMRC, and the father of the child she is expecting.

Lt. Gen. Greg T. Almerol, the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) commander,  said the military will ensure the safety and welfare of Marikit, especially since she is expecting a child. 

“The command will help Marikit get financial assistance and other benefits from government programs and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) as she starts to live a new life,” Almerol said. 

“We hope that she could also convince her current partner, alias Regoy, to surrender peacefully so that they can start a harmonious life together with their baby,” Almerol added. 

Almerol said they wanted Marikit to experience redemption through the government’s deradicalization and reintegration programs.

Meanwhile, Almerol is expecting some members of GF55 to surrender in the coming days sincem historically speaking, a surrender of an NPA leader encourages other members to follow suit.

“I commend our troops who are working tirelessly day and night just to go after the communist terrorist groups which had been the reason why economic growth in some Eastern Mindanao areas are slow. Indeed, persistence and determination to positively transform our communities are the keys to achieving our goal,” Almerol reiterated.

Marikit is one of the several NPA leaders who surrendered this year, along with Pedro Arnado, chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (KMP-SMRC) and national treasurer; Ruel Dum-ogan alias Regan, commanding officer of HQ Force Neo, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and his wife DN Saritao, Platoon Medic of Platoon 1 of the same unit; Marvin Magrano alias Loloy, former provincial coordinator of Bayan Muna in Sarangani Province and also the vice-chairman of the now defunct Guerrilla Front Tala’s Pambansa-Demokratikong Paaralan and Regional Headquarters, SMRC; Eping Iligan Salahay alias John, commanding officer and Milisyang Bayan of GF21C, NEMRC; Romeo Bontulan, team leader of Squad Abe, RHQ, SMRC; and alias Dala, a former commanding officer of SYP Gabon, Guerrilla Front 88.

Almerol urged the remaining NPA members to heed the government’s call for them to surrender peacefully and avail of the many benefits such as financial and livelihood assistance, housing, scholarship, and others that await them through the E-CLIP.

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