FOUR members of the New People's Army (NPA) in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay declared they decided to surrender since they discovered the NPA deceived them, military officials announced on Friday, June 12.
"The New People's Army has promised us a peaceful life and protection from abusive soldiers; however, it was the other way around. They were abusive," said alias Ka Carol, one of the four NPA surrenderers.
Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, Army's 44th Infantry Battalion commander, said Ka Carol and three other male NPA rebels surrendered around 4 p.m., Wednesday, to his troops in the village of Balagon, Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Templonuevo said they turned over a homemade shotgun and three handguns with ammunition.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Army's 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, has encourage the local chief executives in Zamboanga Sibugay "to engage and lead the localized peace talks among the NPAs to address the issues and problems properly."
Gaerlan assured that they will collaborate and support the activities of the local government executives in addressing peace and security in the the province.
Major General Roberto Ancan, Army's 1st Infantry Division commander, has commended the efforts of the troops that led to the surrender of the four NPA rebels.
Ancan encourage the remaining NPA rebels surrender and avail of the benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government.
He said the E-CLIP will be enhanced to benefit more rebels with the promulgation of Executive Order No. 70.
He said that convergence and synchronization of plans, programs, and projects among the government agencies is vital to end decades-long insurgency that only brought misery to our country.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the current thrust of the government to end insurgency is sustained by the commitment to involve the different sectors and the people, through the whole-of-nation approach, and "by our efforts and sincerity to aid rebels who wish to cross the line and join the government's fight against the common adversary." (SunStar Philippines)