A MEMBER of the New People's Army has surrendered to the government troops due to difficulty in life as they continuously evade the troops in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer, identified the NPA surrenderee as Jonelo Balabag alias Joel, 25, a resident of Purok 1 in the village of Matalang, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur.

Petinglay said Balabag surrendered to the troops of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Virgilio Hamos, Jr. around 9 a.m., Tuesday, in Camp Major David Sabido in Guipos in the same province.

Balabag, a member of the SYP-KARA, Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, has turned-over his M-16 rifle with three long steel and four short steel magazines loaded with ammunition.

Balabag said, during the debriefing by the troops, the continuous combat operations forced the NPA to move day and night.

He decided to surrender to the troops brought about by the limited food supply and the difficulty in evading the government forces.

“We welcome positive developments such as the surrender of a former enemy of the state. We believe that it is always best that members of the threat groups are neutralized without firing a single bullet,” Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr., Wesmincom chief, said.

Lieutenant Colonel Virgilio Hamos, Jr., commander of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, said they will provide assistance to Balabag to start a new life through the government’s Firearms Remuneration Program and Comprehensive Local Integrated Program. (SunStar Philippines)