4 more NPA rebels yield in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY--Four more New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered along with their firearms on Monday to government troops in Sarangani Province, a military official said.

Lt. Col Marion Angcao, commanding officer of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion (IB), said Tuesday the rebels voluntarily yielded in Barangay Kinam, Malapatan town following negotiations with their troops.    

Angcao identified the returnees as Dante Lumayas, alias “Pantat,” 24; Dang Lumayas, 45; Degoh Lumayas alias “Bayabas,” 30; and Malkuni Lumayas alias “Lawin,” 30, all residents of Sitio Akfutan in Barangay Kinam.

The four were reportedly assigned with the NPA’s Front 71, which operates in parts of Sarangani and Davao Occidental provinces.

Angcao said they surrendered two M16 Armalite rifles, a Garand rifle, an improvised explosive device and two Versa handheld radios.

He said the rebels decided to return to the fold of the law because of their difficult situation in the mountains, as well as for fear of being killed in any encounter with government troops.

“This is also the result of our continuing intensified operations against their unit,” Angcao said in a statement.

Troops from the 73IB clashed with the NPA unit on June 8 in Barangay Culaman, Jose Abad Santos town in Davao Occidental, resulting to the death of a rebel and the recovery of an M653 rifle.

On Sunday, the troops launched another operation in Sitio Kalgang, Barangay Kinam following reports on the presence of NPA rebels.

Angcao said no encounter had occurred but troops recovered two M16 rifles from the fleeing rebels.

He said they are set to present the returnees to the provincial government of Sarangani for the provision of initial assistance and facilitate their enrolment into the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

Through the program, he said the former rebels will receive livelihood assistance and incentives for the surrendered firearms.

“They will be provided with various support services that will help them start new and peaceful lives with their families,” he added. (PNA)