TACLOBAN CITY – Village officials in Sogod town, Southern Leyte were instrumental in the recent surrender of four members of the New People’s Army (NPA), according to the Philippine Army on Monday.
The Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade said the Barangay Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in San Francisco Mabuhay village encouraged the four NPA couriers to completely abandon the communist ideology on September 14.
The military identified the four surrenderers by their aliases "Correano", "Mark", "Roger", and "Bebot".
They were tasked to gather and carry food and other supplies for NPA fighters in Leyte Island.
“They admitted that the NPA terrorists agitated, organized, and mobilized them using the issue on low prices of abaca, copra, and other agricultural products amid rising costs of basic commodities,” the Army said in a statement on Monday.
San Francisco Mabuhay village chief Reynaldo Aguillon facilitated the formal surrender of the four rebels after he recently witnessed how the NPA abandoned fighters killed in clashes.
He also noticed how the local government ensured the decent burial of slain rebels who are residents in their community.
“I’m expressing my sincere appreciation to the local task force of San Francisco Mabuhay and profound thanks to the former couriers of NPA for returning back to the fold of the law,” 802nd Infantry Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Zosimo Oliveros said.
Their surrender came two days after 18 NPA rebels in lie-low status yielded to village officials in Ormoc City, blocking attempts of the communist terrorist group to recover their former strongholds.
Oliveros asked the remaining NPA members to surrender since people are no longer supporting their lost and senseless cause.
The Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the Communist Party of the Philippines, NPA, and National Democratic Front as terrorist groups.
The European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines also listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PNA)