A NEW People's Army (NPA) rebel has withdrawn support from the communist group and surrendered to government authorities in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, the military reported Friday, May 8.
Major General Generoso Ponio, commander of the Army's First Infantry Division, identified the NPA surrenderer as Lemuel Olarte Suhay alias Ka Bobong, a member of the NPA's Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
Ponio said Suhay surrendered to the Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion (IB) around 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, in Purok 1, Pili village, Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur.
Suhay turned over an improvised M-14 rifle with 15 rounds of ammunition, a caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade, a commercial radio, and five unserviceable cellular phones.
"I commend the efforts of the 53rd IB for this recent accomplishment," he said.
He said Suhay is currently undergoing custodial debriefing at 53rd IB headquarters in Camp Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said he is looking forward that more NPA rebels will surrender in the coming days.
"This is the high time for them to again be with their families and loved ones," Sobejana said. (SunStar Zamboanga)