Ex-rebels' revelations lead to recovery of weapons in Sorsogon

By Connie Calipay

October 19, 2023, 9:09 pm

<p>Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson (PNA file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – Three New People's Army (NPA) members who surrendered to government forces in Sorsogon on Wednesday revealed the location of the group's stash of firearms and ammunition, which led to its recovery, the Police Regional Office (PRO)-5 (Bicol) said on Thursday.

In an interview, Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, identified the rebels as "Ka Kiko" and "Ka Henry", members of Platoon 1, Larangan 1, Komite ng Probinsya 3, Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC), and "Ka Renz", a member of the Regional Yunit Guerrilla, BRPC.

After their revelation, troops recovered in Barangay Sangat, Gubat town various war materiel that included one US M2 caliber .30 carbine, five magazines for caliber .30 carbine, two anti-personnel mines, two bandoliers, 25 meters of wire, and 56 rounds of .30-caliber ball ammunition.

"The surrendered NPA members and recovered firearms are now in the custody of the 31st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army," Calubaquib said.

Meanwhile, in Camarines Norte, a female member of the NPA's Armando Catapia Command also surrendered to government troops on Wednesday.

"She handed over an improvised firearm with no markings or serial number and eight live ammunition rounds. Alias 'Lina' and the surrendered firearm are now under the custody of Camarines Norte 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company for proper disposition," Calubaquib said.

She said the continued surrender of NPA members is the result of the Retooled Community Support Program of the Philippine National Police.

"They will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), where they will receive various forms of support to aid in their successful reintegration into their communities," Calubaquib said.

ECLIP is a government initiative that aims to provide a comprehensive package of benefits and assistance to former rebels who have decided to return under the rule of law. Beyond financial support, it also aims to empower these individuals to rebuild their lives and become productive, law-abiding members of the communities. (PNA)