TWO alleged communist rebels in the Cordillera region yielded to authorities, citing the hardships they are enduring as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on April 8.
Ka Joshua, 36, surrendered at the headquarters of 503rd Brigade at Barangay Calanan, Tabuk City, Kalinga. He also turned over his M16 rifle and one magazine loaded with 11 ammunition.
Ka Joshua said he was recruited in 2003 and joined the revolutionary forces who operate in the municipalities of Sagada, Bontoc, Besao, Tadian, all in Mountain Province.
Due to the hardships of living underground, and the growing disappointment from indigenous communities on the rebel leadership in the area because of undelivered promises, Ka Joshua said he decided to lie low. He has been hiding in Barlig, Mt Province since 2016.
A series of negotiations between the army and one of his relatives since January this year led to his peaceful surrender.
Ka Simon/Diver/RC, 49, a member of the Militiang Bayan (MB) under the KLG Marco and KLG Bampis also voluntarily surrendered.
Ka Simon surrendered to the operatives of the Intelligence Branch of Bauko Police, Philippine Army and 14RCDG.
Both surrenderers claimed the hardship within the NPA units were unbearable as support from the community was minimal.
They also cited the relentless police and military operations against the rebels.
Police Brigadier General Israel Dickson, Police Regional Office Cordillera (PRO-Cor) regional director, called on the public to be vigilant and to not be deceived by the propaganda of the NPA and their organizers.
“To those in the NPA organizations, we encourage you to surrender to the authorities and we will ensure your enrollment on E-CLIP and your reintegration to the community. We thank them for returning to the government fold, and finally realizing that the armed struggle is not the solution,” Dickson said.
Dickson said PRO-Cor will intensify its partnership with all local chief executives and private organizations to address the grievances of the people in far-flung communities and prevent selfish interests from taking advantage of the situation. (Jonathan Llanes)/b>