Mass organizer, 2 fellow NPAs yield

FOLLOWING successful negotiations, at least two New People's Army (NPA) fighters have laid down their arms and surrender to the police in the remote barangay of Besigan, Cagayan de Oro City.

This, as an alleged mass organizer of the NPA and National Democratic Front (NDF) also yielded in Bukidnon province, this week.

Police said the two former rebels were a father and son who were both members of Guerila Front 12 as Militia ng Bayan that operates in Talakag, Bukidnon.

On the other hand, police said the organizer served as campaign manager of Anakpawis and has played a role in the 2007 national and local elections. He laid low in 2018.

The three were presented to the media yesterday. But, authorities declined to identify them for security reasons.

The former rebels also surrendered a caliber 45 pistol, a garand rifle and several ammunition.

Brigadier General Rafael Santiago Jr., director of the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said they are able to confirm the membership of the former rebels to the organization through validation and record-checking, among others.

Santiago also said the former rebels are on the list of the "order of battle" and are consistent with their answers during interrogation and custodial debriefing.

He said they surrender because of the "failed promises" of the NPA organization.

"They decided to surrender to the police due to the reasons that the NPA didn't comply with the promises when they were recruited. Instead, they were used to revolt against the government," Santiago said.

Santiago claimed that the former rebels have pending homicide and frustrated murder charges.

However, the region's top cop said their surrender does not exonerate them from the cases they were involved in.

Santiago said the former rebels will be under the police custody for the meantime while they are facing their cases.

"This development only proves that PRO-10 is doing well in its job to serve and protect the community through various community works the police have been working on to win the hearts and minds of the people," Santiago said.

"We will assure that they will get the help they deserve and live a normal life together with their family and bring them back to the mainstream of the society," he added.

Department of Interior and Local Government-Northern Mindanao (DILG-10) director Arnel Agabe said the three will receive assistance from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

He said the former rebels will receive cash aid of P15,000 and P50,000 for livelihood assistance and remuneration for the firearm surrendered.

"The assistance is binibigay as part ng ginagawa ng national task force to end armed conflict at isa ito sa line of efforts natin para mahikayat ang mga NPA na mag-surrender sa gobyerno at makapag-bagong buhay," Agabe said.


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