2 more NPA rebels yield in Sarangani

January 26, 2018, 3:38 pm

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Two more New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered on Thursday afternoon to government troops in an outskirt village in Malapatan town in Sarangani Province.

Lt. Col. Marion Angcao commanding officer of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion (IB), said Friday the rebels yielded along with their firearms at a portion of Barangay Upper Suyan, Malapatan.

He identified the returnees as Hermes Tuco alias Alfinso, 20, and Sabes Tumbo alias Sagle, 35, who were listed as former members of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Region’s Front 71.

The two surrendered two days after their alleged leader, Simeon Miguel alias Simpak, yielded to 73IB troopers in the same village following a series of encounters.

Miguel, who yielded an M16 rifle, was reportedly the vice team leader of Front 71’s platoon North, which operates in Malapatan town and the neighboring areas.

Angcao said Tuco and Tumbo, who were both residents of Barangay Upper Suyan, surrendered two M16 rifles.

He said the two decided to yield as they could no longer endure the difficult life in the mountains and the uncertainty of their cause.

They intensified operations launched by the 73IB in the area that resulted to a series of encounters these past weeks affected the movement and morale of the rebels, he said.

Angcao said that as a result of the clashes, the two admitted that they “can’t even afford to prepare and eat their meals as they were always on the run.”

“This is a manifestation that our relentless efforts in winning the campaign against the NPA through focused security operation are effective” the Army official said.

Col. Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade, said they are set to present the returnees to the provincial government of Sarangani to facilitate the release of immediate assistance and their enrolment into the Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP.

CLIP reintegrates former rebels into the social mainstream and uplifts their socio-economic conditions to enable them to become active partners in the local development.

The program also seeks to contribute towards the achievement of the goal of permanent peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.

Ancan said they will be provided with livelihood assistance and receive additional cash benefits for the surrendered firearms.

He urged other NPA rebels in the area to surrender and “start new and peaceful lives in the folds of the government.”

Ancan noted that their intensified operations against the NPA in the hinterlands of Malapatan and other parts of Sarangani will continue.

"For those who are hiding right now, it is now your chance to surrender peacefully and avail of the government programs intended for you. You deserve to live happily with your family,” he added. (PNA)