GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 Aug) – Four members of a New People’s Army (NPA) unit operating in the hinterlands of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces surrendered to police authorities on Tuesday following a series of negotiations.
Chief Insp. Aldrin Martin Gonzales, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12, said Thursday the rebels decided to surrender and lay down their firearms after getting tired of their “uncertain cause.”
He identified the returnees as Frezel Dayanten, Soriano Fiang, Ramil Capion and Jolie Samling, who previously served under a field unit of the NPA’s guerrilla front 72.
Dayanten was listed as a squad leader of the unit, which had figured in a number of major operations in the area in the past several months.
Gonzales said the rebels surrendered voluntarily in Barangay Datal Blao in Columbio town in Sultan Kudarat to the elements of the PRO-12’s regional intelligence division led by Sr. Supt. Rolen Balquin.
The surrender was facilitated by Datal Blao barangay chair Bai Naila Mamalinta and joined by supporting elements from the Columbio municipal police station, Regional Pubic Safety Battalion and the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Public Safety Company, he said.
He said it was witnessed by Olivert Castro, publisher of the weekly tabloid Masa Patrol Balita and member of the PRO-12 regional advisory council.
“After many years of battling in the mountains, they decided to give up and turn to the government side and lead normal lives,” Gonzales said.
The official said the four former NPA members, who were formally presented to the media here on Wednesday, yielded an SMG Uzi-type caliber 9mm pistol and three rifles – an M12 rifle bearing serial number 2820572 with magazine and ammunition, a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle bearing serial number 2432586 with clip, and a homemade 12-gauge shotgun.
He said the firearms are now under the custody of the PRO-12’s regional intelligence division for proper disposition.
Gonzales added that they will immediately process the release of various assistance packages and the inclusion of the four returnees into the government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program.