A HIGH-RANKING official of the New People's Army (NPA) and six other rebels have reportedly surrendered to the 58th Infantry Dimalulupig Battalion (58IB) of the Philippine Army in Sitio Migbanday, Barangay Poblacion in Claveria, Misamis Oriental on July 26, 2021.
Authorities identified the surrenderers as alias Aba, a squad leader of Platoon Ryan; his wife alias Angie of Squad Medic of same Platoon; alias Douglas, a political guide of Squad Dos, Platoon Eagles; his wife alias Kimyan, a member of Squad tres; alias Maman, a squad leader of Squad dos, Platoon Ryan; his wife alias Marga, a squad medic of Squad Dos, Platoon Ryan; and alias Kerwin, the vice-commander of Platoon Madar, Headquarters Force NEO of North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC).
The rebels surrendered one M16 rifle, one homemade shotgun, one AK47 and one KG9.
According to the surrenderers, they wanted to quit the organization for a long time due to the hardships and hunger they endured. However, they were always stopped by their leaders.
“Wala pa ni sya maburos sir, nagplano na gyud ko na mubaba na. Nananghid na ko muoli. Sa upat katuig nakong pag uban sa armado, wala gyud ko gitugtan na makauli or bisan pa maistorya akong pamilya. Duha ka tuig bag-o nako matawagan ang akong pamilya, ayha na dayon ko kaistorya sa ila gi-aghat ko sa akong mama na uli na lagi diri," alias Abay said.
Alias Abay further said he thought of the future of his family if he continues being a member of the rebel group, adding that with all his sacrifices, his family will just die of hunger.
"Tinuod gyud diay ilang ingon nga wala gyuy kaugmaon didto. Sakto gyud diay. Pasalamat kaayo ko karon na naa mi sa maayong panglawas ug makauli na mi ug makabalik na sa dati nakong panginabuhi," he said.
All of the men's wives are currently pregnant. Their pregnancy have convinced them to surrender and begin a fresh start with their own families.
"Surender na gyud mi sir kay dili na makaya ang kakapoy ug kagutom labi na karong buntis na ang akong asawa," alias Douglas said.
"Lisod gyud kaayo ang among panginabuhi sa taas. Ug dugay na gyud namo nahuna hunaan pero kay dili man gyud tugtan maong niambak gyud mi ug dagan hangtod makapangayo ug tabang sa among panurender," he added.
Lieutenant Colonel Ricky Canatoy, 58IB commanding officer, lauded the seven former rebels for their decision to surrender, praising their bravery and courage in leaving the revolutionary movement.
He also hoped that the remaining NPA members in Misamis Orietal would do the same.
"Come down right now and take advantage of the government's programs and services. This is for your own welfare as well as the future of your family. Return to the folds of the law and begin living in peace within your communities," Canatoy said.
At present, the seven former rebels are in the custody of 58IB until their enrollment to Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program is processed.