7 more NPA men surrender

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


SEVEN members of the New People's Army (NPA) surrendered to government troops in three areas in Southern Mindanao last week.

Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) Public Information Office head Capt. Alberto Caber identified the first two rebel returnees as certain Bryan and Jason, of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) of the NPA.

The two surrendered to the Army's 67th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Salingkumot in Baganga town in Davao Oriental last Friday. The two escaped while their group was on recruitment in barangay Langgawisan, Maragusan, Compostela Valley, Caber said.

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Four NPA rebels identified as Ailyn Pandatu, Bonjoe Ulaw, Ena Pandatu, and Dodok Quileste surrendered to 27th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu in South Cotabato on Saturday.

The recent, an NPA team leader identified as Efren Genova, alias Jonas, surrendered to 66th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Cabinuangan in New Bataan in Compostela Valley on Sunday.

"According to (the rebel returnees), they were persuaded by the false promises of NPA leaders. They joined the group because they believed that they will have a better life in the future, pero hindi naman nangyari," Caber said.

"Hardship and frustration in the actual practices made them decide to surrender. Now, all they want is to be reunited with their respective families and have a meaningful life in the community," he added.

Caber said the seven rebel returnees are now undergoing interview at the headquarters of the 67th Infantry Battalion, 27th Infantry Battalion, and 66th Infantry Battalion, for the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government.

The Eastmincom recorded a total of 200 rebel returnees in 2013 and a total of 20 in 2014. The concerned units facilitated the livelihoods and cash assistance for NPA rebel returnees.

On the other hand, Eastmincom commander L/Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III commended the returnees for deciding to return to the folds of the law and be reunited with their respective families.

Cruz also said that he is confident that there will be more NPA returnees in the coming months. He added that this is all because of the teamwork between the local officials, communities, and their Bayanihan teams on peace outreach works in the far flung areas.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 28, 2014.

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