AFTER the surrender of two alleged high-ranking officials of the New People’s Army (NPA) over the weekend, another rebel operating in the hinterlands of southern Negros Occidental also returned to the government fold on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

Samson Ones Tillo “alias Ka Dener” cited hardships in the mountains, hunger, and false promises of their leaders as reasons that prompted him to surrender to the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Barangay Tambo, Ayungon town, Negros Oriental, the Philippine Army said.

Upon his surrender, he turned over a .45 caliber pistol with magazine and ammunition to the team led by Lieutenant Colonel Angelo Guzman, who is the 94th IB commanding officer.

Prior to this, Tillo was actively involved in propaganda and recruitment in the hinterlands of Binalbagan town and the cities of Himamaylan and Kabankalan in Negros Occidental.

In almost a decade with the NPA, he was involved in 10 armed engagements with the government troops, military records showed.

The former NPA guerrilla leader noted that his colleagues continue to exploit the masses of the outlying sitios in the central and southern portions of Negros Island.

He is now undergoing custodial and stress debriefing prior to his enrollment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program in order to receive immediate welfare assistance, livelihood assistance, and incentives for the surrendered firearm.

303rd Brigade Commander Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte lauded the efforts of 94IB and the brave decision of Tillo to surrender.

“The surrender of Samson Ones Tillo adds up to the increasing number of New People’s Army and Militia ng Bayan who finally woke up from the deceptions of the NPA and decided to come out for good and avail the amnesty program of the government,” Pasaporte said.

“The Army in Negros is encouraging other members of the communist-terrorists to abandon the armed struggle and the organization,” he added.

On January 15, alias "Bruno," a political instructor, and alias "Mary," an educational staff of the defunct Northern Negros Front (NNF), Komiteng Rehiyon (Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor), surrendered to the 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army based in Barangay Bato, Sagay City, Negros Occidental.

They said leadership abuses, hardships in the mountains, loss of confidence in their "cause" and betrayal of their group were among the reasons why they decided to lay down their arms and return to government fold.