13 NPA rebels yield in ComVal

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Saturday, April 12, 2014


THIRTEEN members of the New People's Army (NPA) surrendered Saturday to the Army's 66th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Cabinuangan in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

Of the 13, two are women. Six are from the NPA Front Committee 15, while seven are from the NPA Front Committee 20 -- all under the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Lieutenant Col. Michael Logico, commander of the 66th Infantry Battalion, said the former rebels decided to return to the fold of the law when they realized that they're just allegedly used by the group to harass, intimidate, and extort people.

Logico said in the true spirit of adherence to Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the troops welcomed the former rebels with meals and comfortable reception following their almost six-hour travel from Barangay Mainit in Cateel in Davao Oriental.

"We welcome their decision to return to the folds of the law, rest assured that all of them will be treated humanely and their rights will be upheld at all times," Logico said.

M/General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, on the otherhand, said such decision of the 13 former rebels to surrender is another step in their journey to win the peace.

"It is sad though that more of our brothers and sisters are being used in an armed struggle which has no more place in our society today. We hope that there will be more NPA rebels will return to the folds of the law," Bernardo said.

Logico said the former rebels are now undergoing custodial debriefing and documentation so that they can avail of the government's Comprehensive Local Integration Program for them to start a new peaceful life.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 13, 2014.

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