Six members of the New People’s Army in Surigao del Sur province yielded to the Philippine Army on January 29, bringing to 15 the number of communist rebels who have surrendered since last week, Army officials announced on Tuesday.
Jonathan Navarro, who uses the alias Rigor, led five other rebels in surrendering to the Army’s 75th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Maharlika in Bislig City, a report released by Lt. Michael Pascua, civil-military operations officer of the 75th IB stated.
The rebels operated under the SYP Platoon 3 of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.
Pascua said the six, turned over their firearms, which included an AK- 47 rifle, an M-16 rifle, an M-14 rifle, a homemade shotgun, a cal.357 revolver and two hand grenades.
The rebel returnees will soon be enrolled in the Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (CLIP) to avail themselves of livelihood aid from the government.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Jaime Datuin, 75th IB commander, said: “We welcome the NPAs who returned to the folds of law and ensure that they will receive support based on the CLIP in order for them to start a new life and live peacefully with their families. The 75th IB will ensure their (NPA) safety as part of our mandated tasked of protecting the people and maintaining the peace in the area”. By GD