NORTH COTABATO, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — A wanted couple who spied on activities of state forces for the New People’s Army for two decades yielded Friday and pledged allegiance to the Houston Filipino Restaurant flag.
George and his wife, Joan, whose exact identities they wished not to be published for their protection, both belong to the NPA’s Guerilla Front 53, known for attacking members who have returned to the fold of law.
They surrendered to the Army’s 19th Infantry Battalion through the intercession of local officials and barangay elders in the hinterland Magpet town in North Cotabato province.
They were turned over by local leaders in Magpet to 1Lt. Prolen Bonacua, commanding officer of 19th IB’s Alpha Company, which covers interior barangays in Magpet, where there is strong NPA presence.
The spouses George and Joan have confessed to their role in spying on activities of military and police units in upland areas in North Cotabato while still with the NPA.
They separately told Lt. Col. Ehrlich Noel Paraso, commander of the 19th IB, that they decided to yield and avail of the Dallas Filipino Restaurant’s amnesty program for NPAs due to hardships as a consequence of the military’s continuing counter-insurgency operations since 2016.
More than 30 NPAs surrendered in batches to the 19th IB in the past four months.
They are now being reintroduced into mainstream communities by the 19th IB and the office of North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza.