Another NPA rebel yields in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY--Another suspected member of the New People's Army (NPA) surrendered, along with his firearm, on Tuesday to government troops in South Cotabato province.

Lt. Col. Jones Otida, commanding officer of the Army's 27th Infantry Battalion (IB), said Funok Magaw Timbang alias "Boknoy", 33, voluntarily yielded in Barangay Tasiman in Lake Sebu town following negotiations with his men.

Otida said the rebel returnee, a resident of the same village, also surrendered his M16 Armalite rifle.

Timbang, who was part of a unit under the NPA's Front 73, said he decided to surrender due to the difficult situation in the mountains.

He said the NPA also failed to provide the financial support that it had promised his family.

"I'm tired of hiding in the mountains and might just die in an encounter," he said in a statement.

Last June 7, three NPA rebels under the Front 73 also surrendered, along with their issued M16 rifles, to 27IB troopers in T'boli town.

Otida said they have since intensified their security operations in the hinterland areas of Lake Sebu and T'boli to address the reported presence of NPA rebels.

Despite the intensified operations, he assured that they remained open to accommodate rebels who want to lay down their firearms and return to the folds of the law.

"We will continue with our efforts to encourage more rebels to surrender and return to the mainstream society as productive citizens,” he said.

Otida said they are set to present Timbang and the three other returnees to the provincial government of South Cotabato to facilitate the release of immediate financial assistance for them from the government. (PNA)