Thu. May 13th, 2021
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At least 448 underground supporters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in the Agusan del Norte town of Las Nieves have pledged loyalty to the government during a mass surrender Thursday afternoon, the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB) said.

Five members of the Milisya ng Bayan (MB) under the Guerrilla Front 4 of the NPA’s North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) also surrendered to the government on the same day, 1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang, 23IB civil-military operations officer, told the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

Maglalang said the mass surrender was the result of the massive peace consultations and dialogues conducted by the unit in the said barangay since December last year.

“These dialogues and consultations were designed to allow residents to ventilate their issues and concerns, especially on peace and security in their community,” Maglalang said.

Among the concerns raised by the residents were the extortion activities and harassment of the NPA rebels in their community, the Army official said.

“The residents are already tired of hardships brought about by these terrorist NPAs. All they want now is for the government to address the development gaps in their community. Development initiatives in the area, for a long period of time, have been barred by the NPA,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH

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