A MINOR female rebel and two other members of the Milisyang Bayan (MB) have laid down their arms and surrendered during the observance of the Holy Week, the military said on Tuesday, April 23.
Troops under the 58th Infantry Battalion facilitated the surrender of alias Charmy, 17, member of HQF Nelsay of Sub-Regional Committee 1; and alias Reck, 19 and alias Jems, 23, both members of the MB SRC1.
The three former rebels are residents of Sitio Anahaw, Bantaawan, Gingoog City.
In a statement, the military said Charmy claimed that the hardships and hunger within the New People’s Army (NPA) organization is unbearable, including the fear every time government soldiers launched military operations within Lantad-Balatukan Complex.
“She further claims that they want to clear their names and live peacefully especially now that Lantad-Balatukan is relatively peaceful because of the help of 58IB and government services can now freely reach the far-flung communities within the complex,” the military said.
Lieutenant Colonel Roy Anthony Derilo said the three former rebels who recently surrendered showed that the NPA continue to violate the provisions of the International Humanitarian Law by exploiting and recruiting minors like Charmy.
“We and the leadership of the province of Misamis Oriental will protect the rights and secure the future of these former rebels who will be enrolled under the E-clip,” Derilo said.
Derilo urged other NPA fighters and their leaders to give peace in the province a chance.
He also asked local chief executives to push for socio-economic development and services in the conflict-affected areas where constituents needed government services.
Derilo said the military tactical gains and sacrifices in the province are worth nothing if socio-economic development does not follow through.