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Ranking NPA leader in Caraga surrenders

Hardship and disillusionment with the underground movement had prompted a ranking NPA leader, whose unit operates in the tri-boundaries of Surigao del Sur and Agusan provinces to abandon the armed struggle. File photo

A ranking leader of the New People’s Army in Caraga Region surrendered to government security forces in Agusan del Sur on Sunday, the military said.

Estelito Camino Jr., alias Commander Puma, the commanding officer of the Sub-Region Sentro de Grabidad of the CPP-NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) yielded to authorities at the Army’s 401st Infantry Brigade in Prosperidad town, said Col. Cristobal N. Zaragoza, commanding officer of the 401st IB.

Zaragoza, said Camino Jr., who is facing a string of warrants of arrest for murder and other crimes had cited hardship and disillusionment with the underground movement as reasons for his surrender.

Zaragoza also credited the surrender of Puma to he relentless pressure exerted by his troops and the PNP in Surigao and Agusan.

“He surrendered to the 401st Brigade headquarters on April 2 and pledged to support the Army’s peace and development program,” Zaragoza said.

Camino joined the NPA in 2003, and became guerilla commander of NEMRC, which operates in the tri-boundaries of Surigao del Sur and Agusan provinces.

For his part, Camino said he decided to abandon the armed struggle after the NPA leadership failed to give their promised monthly support to his family.

He also said he wants to be an example to his sub-commanders to pursue their surrender plan after he has proven that no maltreatment is committed by government forces to those who surrendered contrary to the stories told to them by their older comrades.

Most of his comrades, he bared, are already thinking of laying down their arms at an opportune time as they accordingly believe that the Duterte administration is their best chance to have a peaceful life. By YUC and CL

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