66IB’s 20th Founding anniversary, holds wedding of former rebels

New Bataan, Davao De Oro —   Emilyn “@Maya” dela Peña finally tied the knot with his partner, Jovannie “@Kayong” Alfonso during the 20th founding anniversary celebration of the 66 Infantry (Kabalikat) Battalion on May 22, 2018, 4:00 pm at the battalion headquarters.

Both Maya and Kayong, whose plan to wed failed twice while in the armed movement, are former regular armed members of the New People’s Army under Guerrilla Front 27.

“Dako kayo akong kalipay. Wala ko mag expect nga moabot sa ako karon mao ni. Kutob sa akong mahimo, musuporta ko sa unit. Motabang ko sa kung unsa akong mahimo isip balos sa kung giunsa ko ninyo pag atiman diri sa unit,” said an emotional Maya after they were officially declared as husband and wife.

The 66IB facilitated the event with the help coming from the Provincial Local Government Unit of Davao De Oro and Local Government Unit of New Bataan. New Bataan Mayor Geraldford Balbin, himself, administered the wedding.

Moreover, some of Maya and Kayong’s former “kasama” in the movements who also surrendered to the battalion are there to witness their union.

Earlier in the morning, the battalion also held the wedding of two of their kabalikat troopers. Lieutenant Colonel Palmer Parungao, commanding Officer of 66IB, said that the wedding is a manifestation that the fusion of former enemies can be done through personal relationship between the military and the former rebels.

“Sila ngayon ang bumubuo ng parang pagsasama ng dalawang magkabilang parties na dating nag-aaway. Na pwedeng palang mangyari, they can get married sa isang araw, sa isang unit, at saka sa loob ng kampo,” LtC. Parungao said.

After seven years and three months in the movement, Maya saw the negative effects of their active participation to their children. She also came to question the doctrines she firmly holds on to for years. Thus, on April 22, 2017, they voluntarily surrendered to 66IB Charlie Company at Maragusan, CVP.

“Grabe gyud ka lisod. Kay ang among kaagi naa pa mi sa armadong pakigbisog, naa tanan kahadlok, kagutom ug kahingawa sa pamilya. Tungod kay among kalaban gobyerno man,” she said.

After their surrender, Maya actively joined the battalion in their efforts to encourage more members to denounce their allegiance to the CPP-NPA. She spoke of her past experience and how her surrender made her realize that she had been fighting the wrong battle all along. Kayong, on the other hand, started his duty as CAFGU on September 16, last year. (Sheldane Mahinay // ID Comval)

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