Government troops rescued a communist New People’s Army (NPA) combatant who fled from his group in Surigao del Norte on Friday, the Army’s 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB) said in a statement Saturday.
“He decided to leave the group because he is already tired. The promises made to him by the NPA terrorist group also failed,” 30IB said.
The rescue took place in Serinihon, Barangay Camp Edward, Alegria town, 30IB said.
Soldiers sent to extricate the rebel ran into several NPA combatants under the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) 16C2 of Guerrilla Front (GF) 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC), 30IB said.
“Prior to the encounter, the said personality already reached out to the unit’s hotline cellphone number. He told us he was on his way out from the terrorist group and being chased by several of his ex-comrades,” it said.
The encounter lasted for 10 minutes before the NPA rebels retreated from their position, 30IB said.
The rebel, who was not named for security reasons, turned in an M14 rifle with seven magazines, 21 live ammunition, and a bandolier. He is now under the custody of 30IB at their headquarters in Barangay Mahanub, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte.
Lt. Col. Ryan Charles G. Callanta, 30IB commander, said the escape of the NPA rebel showed the “disintegration among the ranks of the rebels in the area.”
He also pointed out the difficulties the ordinary NPA members face while inside the movement.
“One can imagine how hard it is to being always on the run, hiding when tiredness and hunger crept in. How can one endure these dire situations?” Callanta said.
He said the rescued rebel would be enrolled under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. SOVEREIGNPH