DAVAO DEL NORTE -- The Philippine Army's 60th Infantry Battalion presented in public on Monday the two rebel returnees in Barangay Sto. Niño in Talaingod town.
Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Bunagan, commander of the 60th Infantry Battalion, identified the two former members of the New People's Army (NPA) Front 33, Southern Mindanao Regional Command, as Alvin Julagon, alias Joseph, 21, and Renerio Ricaforte Jr. alias Rasman, 19, both residents of New Corella town in Davao del Norte.
Bunagan said the two young men surrendered to the 60th Infantry Battalion troops without firearm in Barangay Mambing, New Corella on Friday at 7 a.m.
He added that Julagon and Ricaforte were then accompanied to the New Corella Municipal Police Station for the documentation.
Ricaforte told the media that he has been with the NPA for four years, but he and his friend Julagon decided to return to the folds of the law when they realized that they're just allegedly used by the group to harass, intimidate, and extort people.
"Miapil lang man mi sa grupo kay ila ming gi-recruit ug tungod pud sa tumang kalisod. Matud pa nila (rebels), kung musulod mi sa NPA, dako daw mi maitabang sa pag bag-o sa sistema sa gobyerno. Pero dili man ana ang nahitabo. Wala nami kasabot sa ilang pamaagi," Julagon said.
Julagon added that they could no longer stand the activities done by the communist group, the reason why they left and decided to surrender.
He also said that they are hoping that the government will give them livelihood assistance to start a new life.
Bunagan said the rebel returnees will soon avail the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (Clip) from the local government after undergoing some procedures.
He assured the two that they have nothing to worry about the livelihood as the government authorities in coordination with the local government unit will be there to help them.