THREE New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have separately surrendered last weekend to the troops of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade in Zamboanga Peninsula, military officials announced.

One of the three NPA surrenderers is identified as Elmer Taata alias Ka Reden, a former squad leader of the defunct NPA’s Guerrilla Front Big Beautiful Country (BBC).

Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said that Ka Reden was the lone remnant of the seven-man NPA team that clashed with government troops on May 12 in Leon Postigo, Zamboanga del Norte.

Two of the seven NPA rebels were killed during the clash while three of them surrendered on May 14 and another one on May 15.

Reden surrendered after he established a communication on May 21 with the Alpha Company of the 1st Civil-Military Operations Battalion (1CMOB) through the help of a resident of Tinaplan village, Leon Potigo.

The 1CMOB is an operationally controlled unit of the 102nd Infantry Brigade.

“I barely survived and have not eaten for several days when I got separated from our group after the encounter,” Reden said.

Reden said he tried to evade the government forces but got tired and weary due to hunger. He turned over one M-16 Armalite rifle with magazines and ammunition.

The other two NPA surrenderers were members of the defunct Guerilla Front Feliciano Alpha.

The two, Mylene Ulanon and Sonny Boy Malig, decided to surrender to the 53rd Infantry Battalion last weekend in Zamboanga del Sur after months of hiding.

“We warmly welcome An-an and Kaloy's decision to abandon the armed struggle, and through the Project Good Life, we wish to give them a fresh start as we help them become productive members of their communities,” Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera, 53IB commander, said.

Meanwhile, Nicolas has commended the active participation of the local populace in the campaign to end the local communist armed conflict in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

“For the past years, we have observed the commendable change in the local populace's perception, behavior, and actions in the nation's fight against communist terrorism,” Nicolas said.

They will assist the three NPA surrenderers to enroll in the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

They will be receiving P65,000 immediate cash and livelihood assistance, education, training, psychosocial recovery, and others. (SunStar Zamboanga)