THE Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division (ID) has recorded a total of 228 rebels who surrendered to authorities this year from January to December 6 and have availed of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (Clip) of the government.
Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief Captain Jerry Lamosao said during Wednesday's AFP-PNP Press Corps media forum that the offensive operations and community support programs have prompted the rebels to surface and lay down their arms.
Lamosao said the pronouncement of President Rodrigo R. Duterte declaring the communist group as terrorists would have a huge impact and would create a setback on the side of the rebels, thus, he urged them to surrender.
"Malaking impact itong pag-declare ng CPP-NPA as terrorist so for those who wanted to surrender, surrender now because they already know the implication," Lamosao said, adding that the huge number of rebel returnees was also triggered by the hardship of former rebels in the hinterlands and the disintegrating system.
"They were only forced to join and there are a lot of them who wanted to come down even before the declaration," Lamosao added.
Earlier, another member of the New People's Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered with his M14 rifle and an AK-47 rifle to the 60th Infantry Battalion on Sunday.
He was identified as Alias Toni, 28, a resident of New Corella, Davao del Norte.
Toni will be enrolled to the Clip where he can receive immediate cash and livelihood assistance.
He will also receive additional remuneration for the firearms that he surrendered.