TWO New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, including a ranking leader, have surrendered to military authorities in the province of South Cotabato, the military reported Friday, March 31, 2023.

Major General Alex Rillera, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central, said Ka Bebot and Ka John surrendered Thursday afternoon, March 30, to the troops in Laconon village, T’boli, South Cotabato.

Rillera said that Ka Bebot is the team leader of Squad Dos of Guerilla Front Musa, of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Region, while Ka John is a member of Squad Uno of the same guerilla front.

The surrender of the two was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the 5th Special Forces Battalion (SFBn) and the intelligence units.

The two surrenderers handed over one M-16 Armalite rifles, two caliber .30 M1 Garand rifles, one caliber .45 pistol, one hand grenade, assorted magazines and ammunition, two bandoliers, and propaganda materials.

They expressed desire to avail themselves of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).

Lieutenant General Roy Galido, Western Mindanao Command chief, expressed his admiration for the former rebels for listening to the government’s call for the peaceful resolution of conflict.

Galido also commended the troops for the peace efforts, which yield positive results in the campaign against terrorism and insurgency.

“The snowball of surrenders is attributed to the proper implementation of the whole-of nation-approach and good governance,” Galido stated.

Operating troops took the two former NPA rebels to the 5SFBn headquarters in Kablon village, Tupi, South Cotabato for debriefing and proper disposition. (SunStar Zamboanga)