MAITUM, Sarangani – The New People’s Army (NPA) terror group continues to weaken, as their disgruntled comrades surrender every now and then in many parts of the country.
In a remote town in this province, five more members of the revolutionary movement have surrendered their firearms and went back to the fold of the law.
Police Regional Office 12 director Gen Michael John Dubria told reporters the rebels have decided to surrender Wednesday (April 14) following the continued program of the Duterte administration to give them livelihood and other support if they want to live a normal life again.
The top military official said prior to the rebels’ surrender, there were series of peaceful negotiations conducted between government negotiators and five members of NPA Guerilla Front 73 (Musa)-Far South Mindanao Region. The said group is reported operating in the hinterland areas in Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and South Cotabato.
The rebel returnees yielded their caliber 5.56 M16 rifle, a homemade caliber 5.56mm M16 rifle, a caliber 9mm Uzi, and a fragmentation hand grenade to the municipal government of Maasim.
Maasim Mayor Zyrex Pacquiao, chief of the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC), handed over sacks of rice to the five rebel returnees plus financial assistance.
Dubria said the rebels were assigned to operate in Maasim and Maitum towns in Sarangani. They were long-time members of the terror group “Platoon Huawei and the Malisyang Bayan.
The NPA rebels, Dubria said, have decided to surrender due to their difficult situations in the mountains, as well as because of the ongoing program of the Duterte administration, allowing them to return to the fold of the law and live normal lives again.
“They are very grateful that their struggles have finally ended and can now live peacefully with their families,” Dubria told reporters in a statement.
The rebel returnees will be enlisted, Dubria said, adding that they will benefit from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program in order to avail of the government’s financial and livelihood programs.
“Rest assured that the PRO-12 will continue to enhance efforts to attain inclusive peace in the region,” Dubria concluded.