By Priam Nepomuceno

NO TO NPA. Farmers who are former supporters of the NPA burn the group’s flag as a sign of their withdrawal of support in Barangay Balete, Tarlac City on Wednesday. The Armed Forces of the Philippines 1st Civil Relations Group on Thursday (Jan. 11) said these farmers will be officially joining the Malayang Magbubukid ng Hacienda Luisita (MALAYA), an organization of former NPA supporters and members in Tarlac. (Photo courtesy of AFP 1st Civil Relations Group)

MANILA – The mass support base of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) has suffered another blow after 54 farmers in Tarlac withdrew their support to the group on Wednesday.

In a statement Thursday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 1st Civil Relations Group commander Maj. Al Anthony Pueblas said these farmers are former members of the “Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon” (AMGL).

The group’s withdrawal of support ot the NPA took place in Barangay Balete, Tarlac City, he added.

“The event was facilitated and witnessed by the Philippine Army’s 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion and 702nd Brigade with the Philippine National Police –Tarlac and other member agencies of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict,” he said.

Meanwhile, 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col .Jeszer Bautista lauded the decision of the former AMGL members for having the desire to have peace and progress.

He also reminded them not to be easily swayed by the old schemes of NPA in offering and promising ways to stop the cycle of poverty, especially with the farmer sector.

These farmers will be joining the Malayang Magbubukid ng Hacienda Luisita (MALAYA), an organization of former NPA supporters and members in Tarlac. (PNA)