NPA rebel yields in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 31 August) – A member of a New People’s Army (NPA) unit operating in Tampakan town in South Cotabato yielded on Thursday to Army and police personnel following a series of negotiations.

Lt. Col. Jones Otida, commanding officer of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion, said Friday that Jonathan Pilay Dawang alias Caloy, 32, surrendered voluntarily along with his firearm after being convinced by his family and officials of Barangay Tablu in Tampakan.

He said the surrender was facilitated by the municipal government of Tampakan and the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office.

Dawang yielded a Carbine rifle and two improvised explosive devices, two blasting caps and electric wire, he said.

Otida said the returnee was a member of the “Yunit Milisya” of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 72, which operates in the quad-boundaries of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur and Sarangani provinces.

“He mainly decided to surrender so he can live normally and peacefully with his family,” he said.

He said Dawang confided to them that he was tired of being a rebel and being chased by government troops in the mountains.

Residents of Sitio Tukay-mal in Tablu, where Dawang hails, have been also resisting the entry of NPA rebels in their village, he said.

Otida said the former rebel is currently undergoing custodial debriefing at the 27IB base in Tupi, South Cotabato.

He said they will enlist Dawang into the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program after the required verification and validation process.

Once enrolled, he said the returnee could receive over P86,000 in financial assistance through the flagship reintegration program.

These are the P21,000 reintegration assistance, P15,000 immediate assistance and the P50,000 livelihood assistance, he said.

“He will get additional cash incentive for the surrendered firearm as well as housing benefits for his family,” Otida added. (MindaNews)