13 NPA rebels surrender in Zamboanga del Sur

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

July 14, 2018, 8:11 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY--Thirteen members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered due to continuing military offensives, an Army official said.

Col. Bagnus Gaerlan, Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the NPA rebels surrendered on Thursday to the troops of the 53rd Infantry Battalion in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur. The surrenderers belong the the NPA’s Section Committee “Kara” and “security elements” of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) operating in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Gaerlan said they turned over three firearms that included a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle, one Carbine rifle, and a caliber .45 pistol.

Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, 53rd Infantry Battalion commander, said one of the surrenderees, whom he only identified as a Ka Eric, disclosed that they decided to surrender because the rebel movement broke its promise to support their family.

Ka Eric, according to Patria, cited other reasons such as constant physical, mental, and emotional weariness as well as hunger due to almost endless movement that they had to endure to evade military troops. The surrenderers also felt disillusioned and just want to give their children a brighter future, the miitary official added.

Patria said some of rebels were enticed to surrender after hearing on a local radio station about the military-led peace fellowship featuring former rebels and their families. In the program, military officials and NPA surrenderers discussed about the government’s implementation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).”

Patria assured the surrederers they will facilitate their enrollment to the E-CLIP of the government, which included the grant of PHP50,000 livelihood assistance, PHP15,000 immediate cash assistance, and firearms remuneration like PHP30,000 for Garand rifle, PHP25,000 for Carbine rifle and PHP16,000 for caliber .45 pistol.

He said they could also avail services from other government services such as phycho-social debriefing from Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as skills training by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. (PNA)