A NEW People’s Army (NPA) rebel surrendered to authorities after he was injured and abandoned by his comrades coupled with hardships in the mountain of Misamis Occidental, the military said Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
Lieutenant Colonel Jose Andre Monje, 10th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, identified the NPA surrenderer as Roldan Langheras, 27, a native of Purok 5 in Gala village, Tudela, Misamis Occidental.
Monje said that Langheras surrendered to the troops of the 10IB at Sitio Tonggo in Namut village, Tudela, Misamis Occidental on Monday.
Monje said Langheras was one of the remaining 12 NPA followers of the weakened Guerilla Front Sendong, which operates in the hinterlands of Misamis Occidental.
“His decision to surrender marks a turning point not only in his life but also in the ongoing efforts to encourage other rebels to lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law,” Monje said.
Langheras cited the grueling hardships he endured during his time with the guerilla front as the primary reason for his surrender.
He described the constant struggle for basic necessities such as sleep and food, along with the perilous mountainous terrain that often pitted him against government troops.
Langheras also revealed that he had been wounded in previous encounters and had been left behind by his comrades, which further led to his decision to surrender.
Monje has committed to ensure that Langheras will receive the support and care he needs during the transition period.
"We will ensure that Alias 'Richard' (Langheras) is taken care of properly and will assist him in enrolling in the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (e-clip). This is an opportunity for him to reintegrate into society, free from the burdens of insurgency," Monje said.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Elmer Suderio, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, welcomed Langheras’ decision to surrender and embrace a peaceful life.
Suderio emphasized the importance of seeing former rebels like Langheras on the other side of the coin, not as adversaries in armed encounters that may cause harm to both sides.
"We are pleased with Alias 'Richard's (Langheras) decision, and we hope it serves as an inspiration for others to follow. I am persistently calling on the remaining members of the NPAs to avail of the programs of the government to start anew,” Suderio added.(SunStar Zamboanga)