A MEMBER of the New People’s Army based in Kalinga province voluntarily surrendered to the government September 24 at Barangay Pantikian, Balbalan.

Local officials of pantikian and Balbalan coordinated with the police in the surrender of Joseph Masadao, 53, single, resident of Sitio Ubel, Gawaan, Balbalan.

Masadao was an alleged member of Milisyang Bayan (MB) under the command of Marcial Dagay operating in the province of Kalinga and nearby provinces.

The alleged rebel voluntarily surrendered to the joint personnel of Balbalan Municipal Police Station, 3rd MC, Regional Public Safety Batallion, Police Regional Office in the Cordillera and members of the 50th IB of the Philippine Army.

After his surrender, Masadao was immediately brought to the Western Kalinga District Hospital for Medical treatment and later referred to Kalinga Provincial Hospital, Tabuk City for further medical attention after suffering an injury caused by the eroded tunnel at Gaang Gold Mining.

The rebel returnee is now under the protection of the authorities, and is undergoing processing for facilitation of benefits and financial assistance given by government to start a new and peaceful life.

PRO-COR regional director Chief Superintendent Elmo Francis Sarona said Masadao is just one among other rebels who opted to withdraw their armed struggle for them to be with their families and to seek for a reformed life in the community.

“This is why we encourage more rebels to return to the folds of the law,” added Sarona.

“The continuous surrender of the members of the NPA only manifests that the intensified programs of the government troops to counter the insurgency problem in the region is effective thus rebels are starting to surrender and return back to the folds of the law,” Sarona added. (Jonathan Llanes)