FOUR communist New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists have surrendered to military authorities in a remote area of Zamboanga del Norte province, officials said.
Lieutenant Colonel Manaros Boransing, 97th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, identified the NPA surrenderers as the following: Ka Marky, squad leader; Ka Ai-ai, medic; Ka Jury, medic; and, Ka Jerwin, supply officer of “HQ Kalaw” of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
The four NPAs surrendered Friday, August 7, to the troops of the 97IB, 44IB, and 42IB. The four belong to the group of NPAs recently clashed with the government troops in Zamboanga del Norte.
Ka Jerwin said in local dialect they have opted to surrender after learning that their wounded comrades rescued by the Army were treated well and given immediate medical attention.
“We heard that our wounded comrade, alias Jekjek, that we abandoned after an encounter last August 5, and our wounded leader, alias Peewee and his wife, were all treated humanely by the soldiers and were given immediate medical care,” Jerwin was quoted as saying.
“We asked help from our fellow Subanen to assist us to get in touch with the Army to signify our intent to surrender, because we were also already exhausted and hungry from running away,” he added.
Boransing said the NPA surrenderers took advantage of the situation to escape and surrender with the help of residents as they were splintered in smaller groups.
“These personalities, including those who were rescued, were high-value targets, and occupied significant positions in their unit that can help us in our military operations,” Boransing added.
“Their surrender is vital in our operations because they are leading fighters and we hoped that they can encourage all of them to surrender,” said Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, 44IB commander, who facilitated the surrender of one of the four NPAs.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, stressed that the influx of surrenders were results of the series of encounters that transpired on August 5 and 6 in Tinuyop village, Leon B Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte.
“I commend the quick response of the different units on the ground for assisting these former rebels to return to the folds of law and eventually, their return later to their respective families who have been anxiously waiting for several years,” Nicolas said.
He said it can be said that the eventual defeat of the HQ Kalaw is possible if more of its members surrender to the government.
The surrenderers will be processed under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program before they will be reintegrated into the mainstream society. (SunStar Zamboanga)