THE Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) denied the claim of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) that the rebel surrenderers earlier touted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are fake, saying they are validated.

Eastmincom spokesperson Major Ezra Balagtey said there is no truth to the claim of the militant group. He added that the unit is conducting severe validation process with New People's Army (NPA) rebels who earlier surrendered.

"We have validation process to ensure that these rebel surrenderers are authentic members of the NPA. This is also part of the requirements for them to be enrolled in the Comprehensive Localized Integration Program," Balagtey said.

Balagtey said it is also not true that the members of the armed forces would have to force or threaten somebody just to surrender for the interest of the organization. He said the military are abiding to the AFP rules and regulations.

"It is not our way to coerce or threaten somebody. In fact, nag-iingat din kami sa mga sumusuko dahil baka pwede rin na ginagamit ang iba sa kanila ng kani-kanilang mga kasamahan. Those who surrendered choice nila yun," he said.

Eastmincom earlier recorded 877 self-confessed NPA members and supporters who have pledged allegiance to the flag since December 21, 2017. They are former NPA members operating in Compostela Valley and in Davao del Norte.

KMP secretary-general Antonio Flores, in a recent press conference, said the presentation of the NPA surrenderers is a modus operandi. He issued such statement following their four-day international fact-finding mission in Mindanao.