2 minors, 8 other rebels surrender

TEN communist rebels, including a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year old boy, have surrendered to authorities since Sunday. Another member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested.

Ka Sheena (not her real name) surrendered to the troopers of 701st Infantry Brigade in Sitio Magay, Barangay Don Martin Marundan, Mati City, Davao Oriental on Thursday around 5:30 p.m.

Also in the same city that day, another rebel surrendered to the soldiers after an encounter that killed a guerilla.

Another minor was one of the eight other rebels – five from Alabel, Sarangani and three from Malita, Davao Occidental – who also gave up on Sunday.

Capt. Andrew Linao, the 701IB civil-military operations (CMO) officer of the 701st Infantry Brigade, said the 14-year-old Ka Sheena served as Medic of Squad 3 of the NPA’s Pulang Bagani Company (PBC) 6.

Ka Sheena was a Grade 6 student of Serafin Vizconde Elementary School in Barangay Buso, Mati City, when she was recruited by Ka Kara last January.

Ka Sheena surrendered to the unit without bringing a firearm through the effort of a barangay councilor.

She is now undergoing custodial debriefing at the brigade headquarters in Mati City.

Ka Sheena was the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) athlete whose mother made an appeal to the NPA to release her daughter last January.

Another rebel who gave up on Thursday was Ricardo Bisaya alias Ka Jonas, a native of Tarragona, Davao Oriental. He surrendered to the troopers of the army’s 28th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Don Salvador Lopez in Mati City few hours after the encounter last Thursday.

Bisaya was part of the NPA group who encountered the government troopers in Barangay Tagbinonga, Mati City around 11:50 a.m. Thursday.

Bisaya said he surrendered for fear of his life after seeing several of his comrades were hit during the encounter.

The gunfight resulted to the death of a rebel and the wounding of two soldiers, identified as PFCs Jouie Oliveros and Anatoly Lechoncito, both suffered shrapnel wounds.

The encounter also led to the evacuation of residents in three barangays in the city.

The Mati City government, the police and military officials are closely working together to facilitate and provide the immediate needs of the affected families who are from the barangays of Don Salvador Lopez, Buso and Tagbinunga.

Another minor

One of the eight rebels who gave up to the 73rd IB on Sunday was also a minor.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, the spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said Ka Richell is a 17-year-old from Barangay Datal Anggas, Alabel, Sarangani.

Richell was a member of the NPA’s Milisya ng Bayan (NPA-MB), together with the other rebel returnees identified as Ka Mark, 21; Ka Jean, 25; Ka Busiung, 27; and Ka Santo, 29, all from Alabel, and Ka Maymay, 27; Ka Bordon, 35; and Ka Hilom, 39, all from Malita, Davao Occidental.

The NPA-MB members sought the help a barangay official who brought them to the 73rd IB.

During the interview, they all said that hardship and fear prompted them to return to the folds of law.

On Tuesday, troopers of the 60th IB arrested a NPA supporter in Sitio Maligmot, Barangay Kilagding, Laak, Compostela Valley.

Perfecto Guillas, 63, was caught while in the possession of unlicensed firearms, ammunitions, explosive and military uniforms with logos from the different battalions of the 10ID

Guillas was turned-over to the Laak Municipal Police Station for the filing of criminal charges for his possession of caliber .38 and .357 pistols, a homemade 12-gauge shotgun, a hand grenade, ammunitions and military uniforms.

Meanwhile, troopers of the 28IB recovered an improvised explosive device in Mati City, Davao Oriental on Monday.

Concerned citizen reported to the authorities that the IED was placed in Sitio Tagbobolo, Barangay Sainz, Mati City.

Maj. General Rafael Valencia, the 10th IB commander, lauded the surrender of the NPA members and encouraged other rebels to give up.

“It is the high time that the Filipinos must realize that the communists have only brought miseries to our nation,” Valencia said. “Their violence is anathema to the people’s clamor for peace and development.”

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