Demoralized and starving, 20 New People’s Army fighters (NPA) and five of its Yunit Militia members surrendered and pledged allegiance to the Philippine government in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental on Friday.
In a report on Saturday, the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) said the surrenderers belonged to the Central Negros 2 of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor.
Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, commander of 3ID, said the mass surrender is a result of the collaboration between the 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) and their counterparts in the Philippine National Police, together with the Himamaylan City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
It serves as concrete evidence of the government’s sincere commitment to assist victims of misguided ideologies. Their reintegration clearly manifests that the communist-terrorist group can no longer sustain its organization and is on the brink of collapse,’ he said in a statement.
The surrenderers, who also yielded eight firear
ms, including six shotguns and two caliber .38 revolvers, shared during the custodial debriefing that they abandoned the armed struggle due to ‘demoralization, unbearable fatigue and starvation’ while trying to avoid the combat operations of government forces.
They were presented before officials led by Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade, at the Himamaylan City Hall.
The surrenderers are now under the custody of the 94IB and will undergo profiling and assessment to avail of the benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
Edralin congratulated them for ‘choosing the path of peace and transformation’ and assured them of support as they reintegrate into society.
Source: Philippines News Agency