GOODBYE, NPA. Two ranking New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrender to the Esperanza Municipal Police Station in Agusan del Sur province on March 6, 2023. The surrenderers, a squad leader and a medic, are now undergoing processing for their enrollment in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13 Information Office)

BUTUAN CITY—A squad leader of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) and a medic have voluntarily surrendered to Esperanza Municipal Police Station in Agusan del Sur province earlier this week, a police official announced Wednesday.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra II, director of the Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13), said the surrender of the rebels was the result of the "relentless efforts of PRO-13 and its operating units and stations to end the local communist armed conflict."

Labra identified the NPA surrenderers only as "Dernard," a squad leader of a unit under the NPA's Sub-Regional Command 3, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).

The other surrenderer, identified only as "Karen," acted as a headquarters medic under the NCMRC.

Labra said the rebels handed over to authorities a homemade shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver.

“With the concerted efforts of PRO-13, the counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and all stakeholders, the number of neutralized members and leaders of the Communist Terrorist Group in the region continues to increase,” the police official said.

In the last two months of the year, Labra said at least 43 NPA rebels have been arrested while 113 others also surrendered to the police all over Caraga Region.

During the period, at least 66 firearms and 49 explosives were also surrendered and recovered by authorities in the area.

He said the two recent surrenderers are now being enrolled with the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. (PNA)