FOURTEEN New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered to the military in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, officials said Monday, December 4.

Lieutenant Colonel Rommel Pagayon, Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion commander, said the NPA rebels surrendered on Monday to his command and turned over 16 firearms.

Pagayon said they surrendered after the NPAs suffered setbacks in recent clashes with the government forces coupled with the successful implementations of the Community Support Program (CSP).

He said one of the NPA surrenderees, identified only as Ka Jim, said they were confused and feared for their safety “because of the military offensives,” since a number of their cohorts were either killed or wounded during clashes with the soldiers.

“We are hopeful that more of them (NPAs) will realize futility of their distorted ideology…the 26th Infantry Battalion is committed to prevent the NPA terrorists’ criminal activities against our people and the communities,” Pagayon said.

Colonel Andres Centino, Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the 26th Infantry Battalion for the successes against the NPA rebels in its area of responsibility.

Centino has called on the remaining members of the NPA to heed the call of the government to surrender and live a peaceful life.

“Options are open to them to live normal lives. Be part of a peaceful community. Be among us,” he added. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)