A REBEL returnee urged other New People's Army (NPA) members to surrender, citing that the Communist Party of the Philippines is "not the real government" and that it is merely using false propaganda to persuade the underprivileged to join their group.

Speaking in Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) press forum at Davao City Police Office Wednesday, February 8, "Ka Junie", 31, a lumad and member of the NPA Guerilla Front Committee 15, said that he voluntarily submitted himself to the AFP as he wanted to see the "light" out from the hinterland.

"Sa akong mga kauban, nanghinaot ko unta nga mubaba mo diri mag surrender mo. Naa diri ang tinood nga gobyerno wala diha magsurender lang mo diri aron matagaan ug pagtagad sa inyong problema nga ginaingon nila sa rebelde (To my fellow NPA combatants, I am hoping that you will come down and turn yourself in so that the government could address your problem)," he said.

Ka Junie surrendered on February 1, the day the NPA lifted the ceasefire at Sitio Paliwason, Lambog village, Manay, Davao Oriental, during an armed encounter that killed Second Lieutenant Miguel Victor Alejo, a platoon leader of the 67th Infantry Battalion.

He stated that during the encounter, he attempted to flee but he was cornered by the AFP, thus, prompting him to surrender to them instead of engaging in a gun fight.

Ka Junie is the seventh surrenderee since the declaration of the ceasefire last year and is currently under the custody of Civil Military Operation Battalion at Camp Panacan.

"Sugod sa paggawas nako, murag nakakita na kog kahayag. Kaning kahayag kay didto sa bukid kay permi man mi ngitngit (Since I surrendered, I can see the light because it's always dark in the mountain)," he said, thankful that he came down.

He belied the left's propaganda that once they surrender, they will be killed.

The returnee also said there are minors as young as 12 years old were recruited by the NPA and are already armed with firearms.

Major General Rafael Valencia, 10th Infantry Battalion commander, said they are processing the Comprehensive Local Integration Program in Davao Oriental Half-way house and will provide livelihood assistance and training to the returnee.