GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 26 November) – Five alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered to government troops in Kiamba town, Sarangani Province following a series of operations.
Lt. Col. Jones Otida, commanding officer of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion, said Monday the rebels yielded voluntarily along with their firearms to their unit last Friday in Barangay Nalus, Kiamba.
He said they surrendered two M14 rifles, a Garand rifle, a 12-gauge Browning shotgun, an M79 grenade launcher, three hand grenades and two 40mm rifle grenades.
The Army official attributed the surrender to the series of joint operations in the boundaries of Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces since last week with elements from the 1204th Sarangani Police Mobile Force Company.
He cited the raid last Nov. 17 on a suspected NPA safe house in Sitio Blo-lahak, Barangay Klobe in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato that resulted to the recovery of four high-powered firearms.
Otida tagged the rebels, who were under the NPA’s Front 73, as behind the burning last Nov. 9 of a heavy equipment in Sitio Lamfinik, Barangay Tasiman in Lake Sebu.
“They appeared deeply demoralized because of our relentless pursuit operations,” he cited in a report released on Monday by the Army’s 1002nd Brigade based in Malungon, Sarangani.
He said the series of successful operations shows the “untiring commitment of government forces in keeping communities safe and secure from violent ideologies.”
Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, 1002nd Brigade commander, said they process the surrenderers for inclusion into the flagship Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
Under the program, the former rebels will receive immediate welfare assistance, livelihood assistance and incentives for the surrendered firearms.
“Let these successes inspire those who still bear arms on waiving their abysmal struggle of rising through violent acts and to champion progress through peaceful collaborations,” he added in a statement. (MindaNews)