Two fighters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the Philippine Army in Loreto, Agusan del Sur on Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Romeo Jimenea, commander of 26th Infantry Battalion, said in a statement that the NPA members “voluntarily surrendered with their .38 revolver, AK-47 and KG-9 submachine gun.”
He identified the surrendered rebels by their aliases “Ka Jonel,” 33, and “Ka Rustom,”16. Both were members of Pulang Bagani Command-4, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee operating in the southern areas of Agusan del Sur and Compostela Valley province.
The rebels decided to give up because of the difficulty and danger of the situation and that some felt that they were being exploited by the communists, Jimenea said.
“We condemn the series of violations being committed by the CNTs on the provisions of Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law against the civilians and IP members. Rustom, who is a minor and a member of the Manobo Tribe in Loreto, should be in school and learning, and should never be recruited and forcibly used as their combatant,” Jimenea said.
The two surrenderers have already applied for Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program, which gives financial and livelihood assistance to former communist rebels who returned to the fold of the law. By CLC