ELEVEN New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and two Abu Sayyaf bandits have separately surrendered as government forces continue to close in all lawless groups in Mindanao, military officials said.

Brigadier General Arnel Delavega, Joint Task Force Central commander, said the NPA rebels surrendered around 10 a.m., Sunday, in the village of Midtungok, Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat province.

Delavega said that all of the NPA surrenderees belong to the Manobo tribe and they were identified as Ayob Mopac, Benjamin Kalay, Samuel Badak, Mel Pandi, Kang Mopac, Tiin Mooac, Usad Mopac, Long Oding, Sebio Masandag, Gabriel Mopac, and Nonoy Lapi.

The surrenderees turned over eight high-powered firearms that included five M-16 Armalite rifle, two Garand rifles and one AK-47 assault rifle.

Colonel Bismarch Soliba, 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade commander, said the NPA in the province of Sultan Kudarat is losing members due to demoralization in the ranks.

“The lumads are disgruntled over the unfulfilled promises of the NPA leaders. The members are dying in the encounters but the 'Supamil' (family support) for their followers was not provided,” Soliba said.

The NPA rebels, after they surrendered, were presented to Ninoy Aquino Mayor Randy Ecija, Jr. The Municipal Government assured it is ready to address the social issues in the town.

The two Abu Sayyaf bandits surrendered around 10:45 a.m., Saturday, to the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion at Sitio Camalig in the village of Bohe Pahu, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan province.

Colonel Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan commander, identified them as Wowee Hassan and Samer Batin alias Iroh. Both are followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Nurhasan Jamiri.

Uy said that Hassan and Batin, who are both residents of Al-Barka town, turned-in a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle.

“The two Abu Sayyaf revealed that they fear for their lives as more of their fellow ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) members surrendered and gave information of the others. They said that they opted to surrender now believing that the government forces will eventually get them,” said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command. (SunStar Philippines)