NEW LIFE. Kalamansig Mayor Joaquin Concha (in striped polo shirt) hands over financial aid to former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel Norma Dulonan during surrender rites at the town hall of Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat, Monday (Aug. 8, 2022). Four others, including the NPA East Daguma Front secretary, surrendered to local authorities on the same day. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

KORONADAL CITY – Officials in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat, welcomed back to the mainstream society a New People’s Army (NPA) leader and four other rebels, the military said Tuesday.

In a report, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) identified the rebel leader as Danilo Englatera Jr., the NPA’s East Daguma Front secretary and a platoon commander.

Englatera surrendered with his two comrades, Argelo Galaan and Norma Dulonan.

Kalamansig Mayor Joaquin Concha, the Army's 603rd Infantry Brigade commander Col. Michael Santos, and Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar, the Army's 37th Infantry Battalion commander, welcomed the surrenderers at the town hall Monday.

“I thank you for choosing to surrender. I hope more rebels will come down and surrender. More than 40 of you have earlier yielded and availed of government peace offer, hopefully, more will come down so peace will reign,” Concha told the surrenderers.

Englatera said he and his group have suffered exhaustion from the military's sustained operations, adding that they were finally convinced by their former comrades to turn themselves in and avail of the government's reintegration program.

They turned over an M16 rifle and a .45 caliber pistol during their surrender.

Also on the same day, the police’s 2nd Sultan Kudarat Mobile Force Company also presented two former rebels, identified as Samson Falol and Celso Malubay, who turned in two 12-gauge shotguns.

Concha, also head of Kalamansig Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, distributed initial cash assistance and food packages to the former rebels.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)