ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA – Another 14 members of the communist New People’s Army have surrendered to the government with 10 of their assorted firearms and ammunitions, the military reported.
The rebel-surrenderees were from Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental province, said Brig General Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander.
“These nine NPA combatants and five militiamen were from a guerilla unit in Zamboanga Peninsula and Misamis Occidental,” Nicolas reported.
The rebels finally decided to surrender after negotiations made between them and 102nd Infantry Brigade. However, their identities were withheld at press time for security reasons.
The military top brass said the militiamen were under the NPA’s Yunit Milisya, and they were being utilized as immediate reinforcement in the NPA’s tactical offensives.
According to the military general, the “Yunit Milisya” were only equipped with low-power firearms and they were also tasked to monitor the plans and programs of government forces in their areas.
Nicolas said those who surrendered to the government were only between 20 to 46 years old. One of them only known as a certain “Loloy” has been in the communist party movement for more than 26 years.
It was “Loloy” who helped the military uncover arms cache containing firearms, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and ammunition.
Lt Colonel Ray Tiongson, 11th Infantry Brigade commander added that one also of the surrenderees only known as a certain “Brando” revealed that the communist movement has recruited him at the age of 17.
Tiongson said: “This is a clear manifestation of the continued violations of the CTG on the protection of children’s rights in armed conflict.” – PNA