EX-REBELS. The Peace 911, Davao City's peace and order initiative, turns over 44 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Paquibato district, Davao City to the local security sector during the program's 5th anniversary in Barangay Paquibato Proper on May 16, 2023. The security sector, composed of the Davao City Police Office and the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division, received the former rebels. (Photo courtesy of 10ID)

DAVAO CITY – The Peace 911 has turned over 44 former members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Paquibato district to the security sector during its recent 5th-anniversary celebration in Barangay Paquibato Proper here.

In a statement Thursday, Maj. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra, the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10ID) commander, thanked Davao City’s Peace 911 for being "one of the most effective tools" to destroy insurgency.

Niembra noted that the local peace initiative has also led to the declaration of the Davao Region, particularly this city, as insurgency-free.

The security sector, composed of the Davao City Police Office and the 10ID under the Eastern Mindanao Command, received the former rebels on Tuesday.

“The 10ID shares its victory and accomplishments with the Davao City Peace 911 for benchmarking such innovative and inclusive approach to nation-building through exemplary peace programs and initiatives resonating throughout the region,” Niembra said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Sebastian Duterte assured that the city government would take care of the former rebels’ livelihood and daily needs as they transition to mainstream society.

“We are delighted to celebrate the success of the Peace 911 presentation and mass surrender event. This initiative demonstrates our strong commitment to fostering peace, unity, and progress in our communities," Duterte said.

Lawyer Jonah Presto, Peace 911 focal person, said an opportunity to become peace builders has been given to the former rebels to help sustain the peace and development in the city. (PNA)