THREE suspected members of the New People’s Army, including a 16-year-old girl, and 17 supporters surrendered in Mountain Province recently.
The girl, a Grade 10 student from Bontoc, surrendered to officials of the Philippine Army and the Bontoc Police while the two other alleged rebels gave up their arms on April 26 upon the prodding of Paracelis Municipal Police Station (MPS), Provincial Mobile Force Coy, Police Regional Office -Cordillera, Alpha Coy of the 54th IB, PA, and Franklin Tallawec of the Cordillera Bodong Association (CBA).
Rogelio Balanon Del Rosario, alias “Ka Eric”, was a squad leader while Benny Lumidap Tuginay, alias “Ka Manny”, was a member of the “Frank Guerrila Unit” based in Gonzaga, Cagayan. The unit operates in Cagayan and nearby areas.
The girl was a member of the Leonardo Pacsi command for the last three years.
Upon her surrender, she turned over subversive documents, three M-16 armalite rifles, four cellular phones, cash and various writing paraphernalia.
Authorities brought her to the hospital after she allegedly went into shock.
The 17 Militiang Bayan supporters of the NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), also declared their support to the government’s peace initiatives.
The two former rebels turned over a carbine rifle with no serial number, two magazines for carbine rifle, 10 ammunitions for carbine, an M16 rifle with defaced serial number, a short metal magazine for M16, and five ammunitions for M16 which are now under the custody of Paracelis MPS.
Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza, Police Regional Office director for the Cordillera Administrative Region, assured that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will help them return to society.
"We encourage other members and supporters of the NPA to lay down their arms and return to the mainstream society. We extend our gratitude to the different stakeholders, and community for their unwavering support to our troops which is a clear indication that more people are embracing the path to peace, and that peace in the countryside and far flung communities will cause progress and development," Carranza said.