TWO high-ranking leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) are now under the custody of the Philippine Army for assistance, after they surrendered in New Corella, Davao del Norte, on March 27, Tuesday afternoon.

The Philippine Army identified the surrenderers as Lolito Pacle Sr. alias Paul, a former chairman of the Kilusang Taga-organisa (KTO) and presently vice commander of the Militia ng Bayan and secretary of the Sub-Section Committee (Secom) 18, Sub-Regional Committee, Southern Mindanao Regional Command of the NPA; and Juanito Sabang, chairman of the Organizing Group and courier under the Guerilla Front 2, Sub-Regional Committee 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Command of the NPA.

Lt. Colonel Esteveyn Ducusin, commander of the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion, said the two communist officials voluntarily turned themselves to their troops Tuesday afternoon. He added that Pacle and Sabang were accommodated well by the troops with the local government unit (LGU).

Ducusin said Pacle yielded with one improvised firearm Uzi with defaced serial number to the Bravo Company of the battalion under 1st Lt. Fel Saguin through the assistance of the municipal Mayor Rhodora Alcoran.

“Both personalities participated in different rallies held in Panacan in Davao City and in Mati City, Davao Oriental. Now, they denounced their allegiance with the communist group following the influx of NPA members who returned to the folds of the law,” Ducusin said.

He also said that the decision of the rebels to return to the folds of the law is vital in their aim to realize lasting peace and stability in the communities, with the collaborative efforts of the Army and the LGUs.

Ducusin said their doors are open for the NPA members who intend to surrender, go back to the mainstream society and enjoy a peaceful life. He added that monetary incentives await the former rebels and supporters who laid down their firearms under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.