In a statement last September 28, Juanito Magbanua of the New People’s Army-Negros Island revealed that the 79th IB pocketed around P4 million from the “surrender“ of 63 supposed former mass supporters of the revolutionary movement in Barangay Sta. Rosa, Murcia. The military unit is headed by Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran.
The said military unit even held a parade in the village covered court, where the farmers were made to hold placards in an “anti-NPA rally.” Cash aid of up to P65,000 per farmer were supposed to be handed out. Instead, farmers were given 5 kilos of rice and anti-NPA leaflets.
Before this, members of three farmers’ groups in Barangay Pilar, Hinigaran, of the same province were also paraded as “surrenderees.”
In Mindoro, hundreds of Buhid-Mangyan minorities, including minors, were forced by the 203rd Brigade to surrender in the towns of Bongabong, San Jose, Mansalay, Magsaysay and Rizal. Residents were reportedly tricked into claiming relief goods inside military camps, where they are interrogated and forced to surrender as NPA members or supporters.
Funds for the “surrender program” run into billions, making it one of the most lucrative sources of corruption for military officers.