CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Oct. 22 (PIA) - Six full-time members of the New People's Army (NPA) and 106 Milisyang Bayan surrendered to government authorities while 52 supporters from the Tigwahanon tribe in San Fernando, Bukidnon cut ties with the communist group on Monday.
They were formally presented to San Fernando Mayor Levi Edma Sr. and 403rd Commander Brigadier General Edgardo De Leon in a ceremony held at the 88th Infantry Battalion (IB) headquarters in Maramag, Bukidnon.
The NPA combatants also turned over five Garand rifles, 13 homemade shotgun, and a .38-caliber pistol.
403rd Commander Brigadier General Edgardo De Leon urges former NPA members and supporters to convince
their kin and friends to return to the folds of the law and avail of government programs and services.
Brig. Gen. De Leon, who noted the effectiveness of localized peace talks, said the successive surrender of NPA members and supporters is a proof that the CPP-NPA-NDF is getting weaker as they are losing their regular and part-time members as well as their mass base.
"Simula ngayong araw na ito asahan ninyo na sunod sunod ang tulong na darating sa inyo galing sa iba't -ibang ahensya ng gobyerno sa national, regional, probinsiya at munisipalidad. Maghahanap kami ng paraan na magkaroon kayo ng skills training at pangkabuhayan," he assured surrenderers.
De Leon also urged them to convince their kin and friends to return to the folds of the law and avail of government programs and services.
"Kung gusto niyong tulungan ang inyong mga kasamahan sa bundok, sabihin niyo sa kanila na hinihintay namin sila. Bumaba na sila para maramdaman din nila ang tulong ng gobyerno," he added.
Meanwhile, 33-year old Mitoy Mansuduan, a regular NPA member, said he surrendered when he realized he was being deceived by the CPP-NPA.
He called on his brother to also yield to the government. "Kibang, panaog na dire, ilang pasalig nga suportahan atong amahan wala gyud nahitabo. Gobyerno ray makatabang nato, dile tinood nga pamatyon tag mussurender sa gobyerno." (Kibang, go down now. Their commitment to support our father never materialized. Only the government can help us, it is not true that we will be killed by the army once we surrender.)
Lt. Col Franklin Fabic, 88th IB commander, said the mass surrender was realized through the joint efforts of the local government of San Fernando, municipal police, and the Community Support Team, CMO and Intelligence Sections of the 88th IB.
The surrenderers underwent debriefing, psychosocial and deradicalization activities. They are also undergoing profiling before their enrollment in the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.
Under the E-CLIP, a former rebel can receive immediate cash assistance, livelihood assistance, and firearms remuneration, among others. (APB/PIA10)