FOUR New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, including two ranking members, have surrendered while an arms cache and explosives were recovered in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, the military said Friday, August 9.
Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion commander, said two of the four NPA surrenderers are amazons, one which is a team leader while the other one is a medic, who surrendered Thursday to his personnel in Titay town, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Templonuevo said they have recovered the arms cache that consisted of an M-14, AK-47, and Carbine rifles and a caliber .38 revolver based on the revelation of the NPA surrenderers as to its location.
The military official said the surrenderers turned over two improvised bombs fashioned out as a landmine, three cellular phones, ammunition and subversive documents with high intelligence value.
He said the four connived, found ways to escape from the NPA and “surrendered to our troops” when they learned their comrades, who surrendered earlier, felt the sincerity of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) intended for the former rebels based on their initial debriefing.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said they expect a snowball of surrenderers in the coming days as they’ve already created the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, which is part of the Executive Order (EO) 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The EO 70, which President Duterte signed on December 4, 2018, institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” versus insurgency.
“We also anticipate that the four surrendered NPA rebels will encourage some of their comrades to follow their path,” Gaerlan added.
At present, 31 NPA rebels have surrendered to the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade since January, this year.
Major General Roberto Ancan, Army’s 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, has lauded the troops for the successful surrender of the four NPA rebels and the recovery of the arms cache. (SunStar Philippines)