By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
A FORMER rebel turned Army soldier and his brother yesterday accused leaders of the evacuees from Minkamansi, Banglay in Lagonglong town of ties with the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
Brothers Bernie and Rante Calimhay alleged that the evacuees who had stayed at the capitol grounds for over a year were either wives or children of NPA guerrillas.
Bernie, incidentally, is among the 18 former rebels who have been turned into Army privates, and issued M16 rifles yesterday. With the rank comes a salary of over P30 thousand a month for the man who comes from a poverty-stricken family.
Lt. Col. Roy Anthony Derilo, commander of 58th Infantry Battalion, said the new soldier used to protect the evacuees.
“Siya tong mangpuspos mangabog para protektahan ang mga bakwit,” said Derilo.
Bernie accused Jhunreyboy Hilogon and Sariza Acosta, spokespersons of the evacuees, of being with the NPA.
“Mga organizer na sila (sa NPA),” said Bernie, adding that they underwent a 21-day training.
“Isulat una, review-hon kaduha ug unsa inyong istorya ug buhaton,” said Bernie.
He alleged that Acosta was armed until she became an NPA organizer.
Bernie’s wife is Alice Hilogon Calimhay who had reported that her husband went missing. Alice is a sister of Jhunreyboy Hilogon.
“Nadungog to nga na-missing ko apan ang tinuod ato gikuha ko sa akong igsuon (Rante) ug nag-training mi sa Camp Evangelista para magsundalo,” Bernie said.
He said he was disappointed because members of his family had opted to stay with the other evacuees. Later, he said, his wife left the group of evacuees and left their two children with her mother in Macasandig.
“Akong mga anak naa sa iyang mama nga naa pa karon kauban sa mga bakwit ug plano nako sila kwaon,” Bernie said.
The Calimhay brothers called on their wives to “surrender” even as they alleged that all the women who are with the evacuees have ties with NPA.
“Mga misis na sila sa mga NPA nga aktibo sa hukbo,” said Bernie.
Derilo said the Calimhay brothers and 16 other new soldiers would likely get a promotion six months from now, depending on their performance.