AT LEAST six communist rebels have yielded their guns and surrendered to the army's 26th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, the military reported on Tuesday, October 3.
Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said the six members of the New People’s Army (NPA) belong to the same guerilla front encountered by the government soldiers in KM 46, Barangay Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur last September 29.
The military, over the weekend, also recovered two unidentified bodies of suspected communist rebels believed to be fatalities of the said firefight.
"Anxious for their life and security, the rebels decided to surrender and leave the revolutionary movement," the 26IB said in a statement.
The former NPA rebels surrendered 11 firearms of different calibers including two Garand rifles, UZI pistol, a shotgun, an Ingram, a caliber 45 pistol, three caliber 38 revolvers, a caliber 357, hand grenade, and several bullets.
The military said the six were presented to Talacogon mayor Jesryl Masendo so they would be given immediate assistance by the local government unit.
The former rebels are now undergoing processing for facilitation of benefits and financial aid covered by the government's Comprehensive Local Integration Program so they can start a new life.
"The recent firefight was a major debacle to the NPA's Guerilla Front 88. It demoralized their ranks which led to the surrender of their members. We are certain that more of them are confused and afraid for their lives. We have intensified our pursuit operations towards the fleeing rebels and we are calling upon them to surrender to the folds of the law for their self-preservation," Lieutenant Colonel Rommel Pagayon, 26 IB commanding officer said.
Andred Centino, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander Colonel, emphasized that the six rebels are apparently experiencing hardships within the revolutionary movement and are now willing to avail the opportunities offered by the government.
"These are product of collaboration of efforts of the different stakeholders with a common purpose of attaining peace and further development for the communities," Centino said.
4ID commander Major General Ronald Villanueva lauded the six for heeding to the call for peace and unity.
Villanueva reiterated to the remaining NPAs who are still fighting to surrender to the government.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 04, 2017.