Ten demoralized communist New People’s Army guerrillas have surrendered to the military in Palimbang town of Sultan Kudarat province, an Army official here said Thursday.
“The surrenderers wanted to start life anew by living peacefully,” said Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander and concurrent chief of the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC). The NPA batch yielded on Wednesday afternoon to security forces in Palimbang town.
The rebels also turned in nine assorted firearms and ammunition during their surrender to the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion (37IB) in the area.
Uy lauded the decision of the former NPA rebels to abandon the communist organization and choose a peaceful life with their families and with the community.
“Our efforts to defeat the NPA have been relentless. Along with the local government units, non-government, and civil society organizations, we have sustained the call for the misguided rebels to surrender and return to the folds of the law,” Uy said.
“At the same time the security forces had sustained our focused military operation targeting the communist rebels who refused to work with the government and continues to threaten the communities,” he added.
The military declined to reveal the identifies of the NPA surrenderers for security reasons.
Lt. Col. Allan Van Estrera, the 37IB commander, said the rebels turned in an M203 rifle, an M16 rifle, a Browning automatic rifle, three M1 Garand rifles, two Springfield rifles with scopes, and one M79 grenade launcher.
Col. Ali Luis Macawaris Jr, deputy commander of the 603rd Infantry Brigade whose unit has operational control over the area, said the surrenderers belonged to the weakened Daguma Front, Sub-Regional Committee Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region operating in the tri-boundaries of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani provinces.
More than 100 NPAs have surrendered to the government this year through the JTFC.
The Communist Part of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.