3 NPA rebels yield in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 13 March) – Three more “disgruntled” New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered on Thursday to joint law enforcement units in an upland village in Lake Sebu town, South Cotabato.

Lt. Col. Barney Condes, chief of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion-12, said the rebels yielded voluntarily during a “simultaneous internal security operation” around noon in Sitio Datal Ligaw, Barangay Tasiman in Lake Sebu.

He said the returnees were previously under Platoon West of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 73 (Musa)-Far South Mindanao Region, which operates in parts of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani provinces.

They were identified as Timuwok Adam alias “Longhair/Wok,” Complie Sawang alias “Blata,” and Jesie Lambong alias “Munsor/Proting,” all residents of the area.

Condes said the former combatants surrendered an M14 rifle loaded with six live bullets and a homemade KG 9 caliber 9mm sub-machine gun with 11 live bullets.

He said they were brought to RIU-12 at the Camp Fermin Lira here to undergo debriefing and documentation.

The police official said the three decided to surrender following a series of negotiations and related interventions facilitated by the unit.

These were backed by elements from the Police Regional Office-12’s intelligence unit (RIU-12), investigation division, South Cotabato police’s intelligence branch, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-12 and the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion.

“They mainly surrendered due to extreme anxiety and psychological pressure as a result of the continuing operations in the area,” he said in a statement.

He said they will enlist the returnees into the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, which will provide them with livelihood assistance and other socio-economic interventions.

Condes credited the accomplishment to the all-out support of local officials and community stakeholders to the government’s efforts to end the local communist armed conflict.

He said their unit is currently undergoing further training to effectively counter the “deceptive tactics” and recruitment activities of the NPA rebels. (MindaNews)