ZAMBOANGA CITY – Fatigue, hunger, and sleep deprivation prompted a ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender to the military in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.
The former rebel known as 'Ka Arnel' made this revelation after he surrendered Tuesday to the combined troops of the 97th Infantry Battalion (97IB) and 42IB in Sitio Tungilawan, Barangay Bagumbayan in the town of Sergio Osmeña Sr.,
He is the team leader and logistics officer of Squad 2, Guerrilla Front BBC, of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
He yielded one M16 assault rifle, one M635 assault rifle, and one Berretta 9mm pistol with ammunition.
He narrated the hardships he went through while still in the communist terrorist group as well as all the lies inculcated to him by their leaders.
"I was tired, there’s not enough food to eat, and I didn’t get enough sleep, so I decided to surrender because I realized there’s no use of fighting with the NPA. I thought the soldiers will kill me, but I was wrong. The soldiers helped me when I surrendered. What our group told us are all lies. To all my comrades, surrender now because the government is here to help you,” he said in the vernacular.
He is currently under the custody of 97IB for custodial debriefing and medical assistance.
Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, 97IB commander, on Wednesday said soldiers value life above anything else, and each life saved from the violent influence of the communist terrorists is a life that will now be dedicated to peace and development in Zamboanga del Norte.
Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, 1st Infantry Division commander, also assured the communists NPA terrorists who wish to surrender that their safety and well-being will be given utmost priority.
“Lay down your arms and return to the comfort of your families and friends. We will ensure your safety and well-being when you lay down your arms and will assist you in your reintegration to normal living,” Ponio said.
He will be endorsed to avail the government's assistance program for former rebels -- the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to avail of reintegration and livelihood assistance.
He will also receive firearms remuneration assistance for each firearm he surrendered.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)