MARABUT, Samar- Two years ago, Virgil and his wife Estreng were ordered by members of the New People’s Army (NPAs) to leave their village in Guirang, Basey town after they were suspected to be military assets.
Leaving no choice and afraid of their security, the elderly couple packed up their belongings and hastily sold their properties to their neighbors and moved to the nearby town of Marabut.
Virgil,70 and his wife 60-year old wife were punished by the NPAs of ‘destierro’ or by vanishing them out of Guirang on suspicion that they were military informants which they strongly denied.
The couple could still recalled the scenario at that time: several men, armed with heavy firearms, arrived on their village and surrounded their house, directing them to leave their house immediately.
“They arrived at night and told us to leave the village. We’re not military informants. We don’t know why they did it to us,” Estreng said.
Estreng revealed that she used to collect rice and other foods including cash from their neighbors and gave them to rebels.
While they did this act for almost 40 years, it was out of fear and for their own safety, she said.
She also recalled that when super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ hit their town, the food aids that they received from the government and private groups were given to the rebels.
Looking back, the couple said that they have no regret of leaving Guirang as they now feel safe and secure with their new home in Marabut.
The couple, aside from having a variety store, tend to planting root crops, pineapples, and bananas, as their source of income.
The Philippine National Police is also assisting the couple to receive assistance from the national government through the enhanced comprehensive local integration program (E-CLIP).
Incidentally, Brgy. Guirang has been identified as one of the 16 villages as a site for the PNP lead retooled community support program (RCSP).