The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) reported on Saturday the surrender of four more New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in November.
In a statement, Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, commander of the Eastmincom, identified the surrenderers as Nester Tausan alias “Bong”, supply officer of Squad Primera; alias “Andoy” of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC); Wena Teklonay alias “Sirena”, supply officer of Platoon Basil of SMRC; Arnel Guabong Empit alias “Ronel”, a former courier of Guerrilla Front (GF) 53, SMRC; and alias “Uyo”, a member of GF Musa, Far South Mindanao Region.
Almerol attributed the series of surrenders to the growing trust of some NPA rebels in the government, which is “relentless in its delivery of programs and basic services, not only to the surrenderers but also to the people living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs).”
“The government’s presence and delivery of basic services are already felt by the people who are living in far-flung areas, unlike in the long-distant past when their needs were neglected,” he said in the statement.
Tausan and Teklonay surrendered to troops of the 1003rd Brigade in Barangay Sto. Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte on December 1, while “Uyo” and Empit surrendered separately to soldiers of the 73rd Infantry Battalion (73IB) and 72IB under the operational control of the 1002nd Brigade on November 29 and 30, respectively.
Empit turned over his M16 rifle with a magazine and 18 rounds of ammunition to troops of the 72IB, while an M14 rifle with 50 rounds of ammunition was recovered by troops of 73IB and the 10th K9 Team in Sitio Kalnge, Barangay Tuyan, Malapatan, Sarangani province on December 2, after acting on information from “Uyo”.
“Uyo” had managed to evade government forces, along with the secretary of GF Tala identified as Meridio Sambilad alias “Yoyong/Boyaks”, during a combat operation launched by the 73IB in Sitio Bayabas, Barangay Tuyan, Malapatan on November 28.
“He eventually yielded after realizing the evading troops was a futile attempt. A hot pursuit operation is still (being) conducted by the 73IB to capture Sambilad. The three other surrenderers revealed that they no longer feel the relevance of their cause, especially that they can already see the sincerity of the government’s program in uplifting the lives of the people,” Almerol said.
“The FRs (former rebels) who already surrendered have been working closely with the troops in convincing their former comrades to yield peacefully, hence, resulting in the snowball of surrender,” he added.
The military is facilitating the processing of requirements to help the FRs receive their benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).