Wed. May 19th, 2021
 A fighter of the New People’s Army who surrendered to the Philippine Army on Nov. 1, 2020 in Paranas, Samar. At least 22 rebels have surrendered to the government in the past four months as a result of a heightened drive to end the local communist armed conflict, the police reported on Monday (Dec. 14, 2020). (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army)

Ten members of the New Peoples’ Army operating in the Bicol region voluntarily surrendered to authorities last December 10, or 15 days before Christmas day.

“(We) welcomed our brothers who decided to turn their backs on false ideologies and experience Christmas and the upcoming years living peacefully with their loved ones,” said 9th Infantry Division (9ID) Public Affairs Office Spokesperson Captain John Paul Belleza.

The rebel returnees also handed over eight assorted firearms consisting of an M653 rifle, M16 rifle, calibre .30 US M1 garand rifle, 12-gauge shotgun, calibre .45 pistol, two calibre .38 revolvers, homemade 12 gauge shotgun, 3 rifle grenades, 2 anti-personnel mines, one magazine, assorted cartridges for various firearms and propaganda materials.

“They are now set to undergo debriefing and profiling as part of the enrolment process in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” Belleza added.

Under the E-CLIP, former rebels will receive cash, livelihood, housing, medical and educational assistance as well as remuneration for every firearm that they surrender.

The 9th Infantry Division Commander Major Gen. Henry A. Robinson Jr.  urged remaining NPA rebels in the Bicol region to return to the fold of the law.

“To the remaining members of the CTG (communist terrorist group), follow the footsteps of your former comrades,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH

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