A MEDICAL officer of the New People's Army (NPA) has surrendered to the government authorities in the province of Zamboanga del Sur, a military official announced on Wednesday, December 20.

The NPA surrenderee is identified as Benson Niadas, alias Ka Rey, according to Major Richard Enciso, Army's 44th Infantry Battalion information officer.

Niadas, who surrendered on Sunday, December 17, is a medical officer of the NPA's Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee. His surrender was not immediately announced for security reasons.

Enciso said Niadas has turned over to them an M-16 Armalite rifle with ammunition.

He said the families of Niadas managed to convince him to surrender. He is also dissatisfied with the ideology of the NPA.

He said Niadas was involved in the December 8 and 10 clashes between the Army's 53rd Infantry Battalion troops and NPA rebels in the village of Gasa Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur.

A follower of NPA was killed, while three soldiers were wounded, in the two separate clashes.

Enciso said Niadas is entitled to avail of the government assistance through the Comprehensive Local Integration Program. (SunStar Philippines)