A few days after President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for remaining communist terrorists to surrender, two high-ranking leaders and five members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 9, 2020 laid down their weapons to the 403rd Infantry Brigade in Barangay Manalog, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Brigadier General Ferdinand T Barandon, commander of the Army’s 403rd Brigade, identified the two high-ranking NPA leaders as Armando Daluniag alias Ambo/Satur/Pegan/Dario, Roland Lagunday alias Ben, and five other group members.
Daluniag , who is former deputy secretary of NPA’s Guerilla Front 89, is the commanding officer of the Headquarters Force (HQF) Neo, Northern Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC), while Lagunday is the leader of Squad 2, Platoon 2, HQF Neo, NCMRC.
The rebels surrendered 11 high-powered firearms composed of four M16 rifles, three AK47 rifles, two M653 rifles, one M230 grenade launcher, and one M14 rifle.
Daluniag said they grew tired of the communist movement because of failed promises and regret that even their families’ welfare was neglected.
“I surrendered due to the unfulfilled promises of the movement and it did not do good to my family. I call on our fellow rebels to leave the armed group,” Daluniag said in the vernacular.
He said it is not true that the military will torture communists who return to the fold of the law.
“It is not true that we will be tortured once we surrender. In our case, we were entertained properly by the soldiers,” he added.
Barandon said the surrender of the seven NPA guerillas is the result of government agencies’ cooperation in achieving the goals of Executive Order No. 70 that created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Meanwhile, Major General Andres Centino, 4th Infantry Division commander, said the NPA leaders’ surrender is a response to the call of President Duterte for the remnants of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – NPA to surrender.“We expect that more NPAs will follow their leaders by heeding the call of the President to return to the fold of the government. The surrender will have a domino effect on the remaining members,” he added partly in the vernacular. SOVEREIGNPH