MALAYBALAY CITY -- Some 54 former New People's Army (NPA) rebels returned to the folds of the law before General Emmanuel T. Bautista, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in a simple ceremony at Camp Osito Bahian 403rd Infantry Brigade Philippine Army in Malaybalay City.

The rebels belong to Guerrilla Front 34 operating in Agusan, Davao and Bukidnon provinces led by Emboy Casal Gayaw, alias Rixan, who mostly are from the Umayamnon tribe of sitio Liyu in Barangay Canangan, Cabanglasan, Bukidnon, and Loreto and La Paz towns in Agusan del Sur.

In an interview Thursday, Gayaw said: “We are already tired of fighting against the government forces and the ground had already hardened as we cross the mountains day by day, but we never felt the gains promised to us from the rebel movement.”

Gayaw said he has been with the NPA since 1994.

“The rebels operating in the hinterlands are remnants of NPA involved in extortion activities and atrocities,” Bautista told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Baustista urged the remaining rebels in the mountains and countryside to lay down their arms and live in a better life with the help of the government assistance so that a sustainable peace will be achieved.

“Sana mahinto at matapos na ang patayan at gulo. Panahon na na tayo ay magtulungan at ma-sulosyunan natin 'to dahil marami tayong problema isa na nito ang global warming dahil sa climate change ang numero unong kalaban ng bayan at sa buong mundo (We hope to end the conflict and killings. It's time to work together to attain a lasting and sustainable peace for we have more problems in the country to resolve, one of these is global warming brought about by climate change the number one that confronts of the state and the whole world),” Bautista added.

Major General Ricardo Visaya, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said: "This is the fourth batch of former NPA rebels who surrender to the Philippine Army under the 4th Infantry Division since October 31, 2013 to date who brought with them assorted firearms and ammunition totaling to 263 that were handed to the government forces.”

The former rebels are temporarily housed at the headquarters of the 403rd Infantry Brigade for the processing of their claims and reorientation seminar to prepare them to join again the society.