At least 22 fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Samar have surrendered to the government in the past four months as a result of a heightened drive to end the local communist armed conflict in the province.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported on Monday that five more members of the communist terrorist group turned themselves in on December 8, raising the tally to 22 from September to mid-December.
Since the assumption of PNP Eastern Visayas Regional Director Brig. Gen. Ronaldo de Jesus in early September, the police regional office has facilitated the surrender of 15 NPA fighters while the yielding of seven others was made possible in coordination with the Philippine Army.
Four of those who surrendered on Dec. 8 were identified by their aliases only as Suyang, 34; April, 26; Nicole, 29; and Jepoy, 28. All are residents of Calbayog City who were recruited to join the armed struggle in Northern Samar and Samar provinces.
On the same day, another former rebel fighter, alias Oscar, 46, of San Francisco village, Sulat, Eastern Samar, turned in a .45-caliber pistol with two magazines and 14 rounds of live ammunition. He is a former commander of the local NPA front.
De Jesus said the PNP is stepping up efforts to participate in the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), to entice and help more local communists abandon their “nonsensical armed struggle.”
“As we continue to bring quality police service closer to the communities, matched with our sustained persuasion efforts, we were able to lead these misguided back to their families. The government is more than willing to welcome those who wish to give up the path of violence and return to the folds of the law, especially this Christmas season,” de Jesus said in a statement. SOVEREIGNPH