TEN New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered to military authorities amid the relentless offensive against them by the Joint Task Force Central in Maguindanao, officials said Thursday, March 7.
The successful surrender was facilitated by the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7 (MBLT-7) led by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Baylon in coordination with the officials of the village of Rifao, Upi, Maguindanao.
Colonel Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the surrenderers belong to the NPA squad Primera led by Cesar Marcos Manguda, who carries the alias of Ka Amina and Ka Alas of the Cherry Mobile Platoon, Guerilla Front 73 operating in the municipalities of Lebak and Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat province.
Besana said they turned over two AK-47 assault rifles, one M-16 Armalite rifle, one hand grenade, and assorted ammunitions.
He said one of the surrenderers, identified only as Jerome, revealed they decided to surrender as they were dissatisfied with the NPA ideology.
They were also tired of hiding, worn out of hunger and fatigue.
The local government units of North and South Upi provided the initial financial assistance to the surrenderers and included them in the municipal payroll as casual employees with a monthly salary of P5,000.
Major General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Central commander, welcomed the former rebels and assured that if they are eligible, they may avail the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (E-clip) of the government for them to start a new life.
“Our intensified efforts through combat operations and information disseminations against terrorist group with the support of all local chief executives and other stakeholders encourage more the rebels to surrender,” Sobejana said.
He said the 10 NPA surrenderers were placed under custodial debriefing.
“It is good that the former NPA militants who surrendered have realized the true nature of their group’s intentions,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief.
“Gone are the days wherein people easily believe in their lies and propaganda. All their devious intentions and resolves are already made known to the public,” he added.
He encouraged those who are still hiding to join the rest of their former comrades who have decided to return to the folds of the law. (SunStar Philippines)