A University of the Philippines (UP) graduate-turned-rebel, who was rescued by military troops after fleeing from an encounter on May 30 in Asipulo, Ifugao, was turned over to his parent here on Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. Andrew D. Costelo, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division (7ID), together with a local government unit official and a representative from the local Department of Social Welfare and Development office, handed over the 28-year-old Iego Ma. Emannuel J. Tan to his parent in front of the 7ID headquarters building.
“The Army hopes Emman (Tan's nickname) all the best. I hope he can now take advantage of his credentials on community development degree from UP to have a better life after this sad experience of joining the New People’s Army (NPA)," Costelo said in a statement on Thursday.
The parent, who went to Ifugao last Tuesday looking for her son, was informed by the local Army unit based in Kiangan, Ifugao that Tan was transferred to this military fort for security reasons.
Tan, also known as "Bagins" in the communist armed group, joined the NPA in April 2022.
He was rescued by the local Army troops from a series of armed clashes with the NPA in the hinterlands of Ifugao last May 30.
Tan said he voluntarily surrendered to the military after escaping from an actual encounter between the Army and his NPA comrades in Barangay Namal of the said town.
"With the help and kindness of the Army troops, I was rescued from an encounter in the hinterlands of Ifugao," he said.
In his signed affidavit, he said he opted to stay under the custody of the Philippine Army for his protection against the NPA’s threat against his life.
However, Tan is still facing possible legal charges for his acts while with the communist terrorist group.
The local prosecutors from Ifugao and the Army legal officers are processing the required legal documents on the matter.
Tan was a former member of UP Anakbayan in 2012 and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Community Development from UP Diliman in 2016. He is also an active member of Concerned Artists of the Philippines since 2019.
Based on local records, a total of 28 students or graduates from different colleges and universities who joined the NPA have been killed in armed encounters with government security forces as of February 2022.
Of this number, 18 are from UP.
Meanwhile, photos and other pieces of information are withheld per request of Tan's parent pending legal procedures.
"In the spirit of ending the local communist armed conflict, we hope that this peace gesture will inform the small remaining members of the NPA here in Luzon that the Army is willing to facilitate their return back to their normal lives," Costelo said.
Source: Philippines News Agency