A suspected member of the New People’s Army and 19“people’s militia” (militia ng bayan) operating in Surigao del Sur province surrendered to the military on Sunday.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Joey Baybayan, commander of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, said the rebels voluntarily surrendered to the battalion’s Community Support Program (CSP) team in San Agustin town.
The rebels also surrendered 20 homemade shotguns.
Baybayan said the NPA rebel who surrendered was a fighter from Communist Party of the Philippines-Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) while the 19 rebel’s militia were supporters of the insurgent group in San Agustin and neighboring towns.
According to Baybayan, the surrenderers will be listed in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) that gives financial and livelihood assistance to former communist rebels who returned to the fold of the law.
Baybayan thanked the rebels for realizing that no future awaits them as long as they stay with the group.
“We will remain open for other CNT members who want to surrender, we will help them the best way we can in order for them to go back to their normal lives and live happily with their families, we will facilitate all the benefit they can acquire thru E-CLIP,” he said.
He reiterated his appeal to the remaining communist guerrillas to surrender and return to their respective families.
“Those CNT members who opted to stay in armed struggle we will remain our offensive posture to neutralized them, will continue to intensity our security operations, CSP, information gathering and collaboration with other stakeholders to thwart the atrocities planned by the CNT’s to protect and secure the IP communities in the area. We will continue to advance our efforts in making NPA cause irrelevant.” By CLC