7 ex-NPA rebels surrender to Phl Army in Talaingod, Davao Norte

7 ex-NPA rebels surrender to Phl Army in Talaingod, Davao Norte

Seven former members of the New People's Army operating at the borders of Bukidnon and Talaingod, Davao del Norte surrendered to the Philippine Army's 56th Infantry Battalion at Sitio Central Baugan, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte over the weekend.

In a statement on Monday, 10ID Public Affairs Division chief Maj. Mark Anthony Tito said the surrenderees were all members of the Sub-Regional Sentro De Grabidad PEDDLER, Sub-Regional Committee 2 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

The former rebels were identified as alias Fernando Poe, alias Rustom, alias Sarmontano, alias Adolfo, alias Agata, alias Rica and alias Andrew E.

"The joint effort of the 56IB and the 1003rd Infantry (Raptor) Brigade made the surrender possible," said Tito.

In a statement released by the Philippine Army, the group's team leader, alias Fernando Poe, narrated the "hardships" they went through during their stay with the NPA revolution.

_"Kapoy kaayo ang pagtago sa gobyerno, ang gilay-on nga among gibaktas ug walay igong pagkaon. Wala man ko kabalo unsaon pagtapos  sa among kalisod, mao nga nakahukom mi nga mo-surrender na lang kay walay silbi ang among gubat_ (Hiding from the government was exhausting, we walked long distances without enough food. I didn't know how to overcome the hardships, so we decided to just give up because there was no meaning in what we were fighting for)," he said.

BGen. Allan Hambala, acting commander of 10ID, welcomed the surrenderees and thanked them for accepting the government's offer to give them a fresh start as normal citizens.

"Our soldiers will continue to exert efforts to entice the remaining CNTs to surrender and prevent the reentry of armed groups in the Davao Region. We call on the remaining members of the CTG in the 10ID area of responsibility to embrace the peaceful path to peace," Hambala said.

The rebel returnees are now in the custody of 56IB for custodial debriefing and medical intervention, according to Tito.

He added that former NPA combatants will be endorsed to avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, a government assistance program for former rebels.

Daily Tribune