Two communist rebels voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion (7IB) in Sultan Kudarat on Saturday afternoon, and urged their fellow rebels to follow suit.
Lt. Col. Rommel Valencia, the 7IB commander, identified the two surrenderees as Jonathan Saliling and Michael Lugko, both of the New Peoples’ Army-East Daguma Guerrilla Front (NPA-EDGF) operating in the upland towns of Sen. Ninoy Aquino and Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat, and Surallah and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.
Both turned in two M14 assault rifles during simple rites held at the 7IB headquarters in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.
“The two belonged to the group of Commander Arturo Arsigan of the NPA- EDGF,” Valencia said.
The two earlier admitted they were the group’s recruiters, preying on indigenous peoples (IPs) in the upland communities of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.
“The positive action of the two was a wake-up call to their comrades still hiding in the mountains and running away from the endless military operation,” Valencia said.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th Infantry Division commander, lauded the decision of Saliling and Lugko for making the “right choice” in returning to the fold of the law.
Uy assured the two they will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government. SOVEREIGNPH