COMING HOME. The two communist rebels who surrendered to the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Basak in Lebak town, Sultan Kudarat province on Tuesday (Feb. 7, 2023). The surrenderers said they were exhausted from evading government troops in the mountain of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao del Norte – Two more communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered to military authorities in Sultan Kudarat province, officials said Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Guillermo Mabute Jr., the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion commander, said the surrenderers were fleeing from government forces in Barangays Salangsang and Kapilan in Lebak town, and decided to surrender on Tuesday.

Mabute identified them as “Alias Mantong” and “Alias Lalang,” both belonging to the NPA Guerilla Front MUSA operating in the mountains of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces.

“They rushed home in Sitio Balayan, Barangay Basak, to evade pressures from the focused military operations of our troops in the area where GF MUSA operates. They later surrendered,” Mabute said.

He said the duo left their firearms somewhere in the village of Salangsang as they fled.

Brigadier Gen. Michael Santos, the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade commander, urged the 57IB "to continue your endeavor in serving the people of Sultan Kudarat to make the province a safer place."

On Sunday, two NPA rebels from Barangay Salangsang also yielded amid an intensified military operation in the area. Mabute identified them as alias “Malakas” and “Justine.”

Since Jan. 1, four NPA fighters have been killed in clashes, three were arrested, and eight have peacefully surrendered to the government.

Fifteen firearms were also recovered while four improvised explosive devices were surrendered in the 6ID’s area of responsibility in Central Mindanao. (PNA)