15 alleged MILF members yield in North Cot

The rebels, who reportedly belonged to the 106th MILF Based Command led by Mando Sula,  surrendered to avail of financial assistance under the “Balik Baril Program” of the government, Col. Pedro Soria, commanding officer of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, said.

Soria also said the surrenderees also turned over several high-powered firearms to them.
 
The firearms included one M-14 Armalite rifle, two Garand rifles, one carbine, one AK-47 rifle and two M79 grenade launchers and various live ammunition.
 
Soria said the surrenderees will automatically qualify to avail of cash and livelihood assistance from the government under the Balik Baril program in exchange for their firearms.

The official said he is optimistic the program would encourage the others to also return to the fold of the law.
 
He said the government is doing everything to convince rebels to surrender and live a normal life together with their loved ones.
 
In 2006, some 80 MILF fighters operating in various areas of North Cotabato also availed of assistance from the same program. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)

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