3 rebels give up

THREE members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the soldiers of 73rd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Pag-asa, Alabel, Sarangani Province on Thursday afternoon.

Capt. Mc Gary Dida, the civil-military operations officer of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, identified the rebel returnees as Arnold Sawal Budiong, 24, of Purok 8-A, Brgy Poblacion, Alabel; Runjie Termosa Lagon, 39, of Ulutangga Island, Zamboanga Sibugay and Eddie Maranga Ani, 25, of Sitio Kidalagan, Brgy Datu Danwata, Malita, Davao Occidental.

Dida said the former rebels brought two M16 rifles and one AK47 rifle upon their surrender.

He said the three used to be members of the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 71 operating in Davao region.

“Gikapoy na mi sa mga pasalig sa NPA nga wala natuman, ingon sila nga naa mi ma dawat nga suportang pinansyal para sa amoang pamilya (SUPAMIL – Suporta Para sa Pamilya) pero sukat sa karon wala kami makadawat.” I’m tired of the false promises made by the NPAs, they promise us to give financial support to our family, but until now we haven’t receive any,” Lagon said.

“Kalisud sa bukid, sige lang mi ug tago kung naay operasyon ang army, unya sige pa mi engkwentro.” I’m tired of hiding in the mountain, every time the troops conduct their combat operation, and most of the time we are engage in armed encounter against the government troops,” Ani also said.

The military officer said the surrender of three NPAs was made possible through the effort of the Barangay official of Barangay Pag-asa, Alabel, Sarangani Province.

It can be recalled that in the morning of Feb. 15, 2018 the troops of 73rd IB encountered undetermined number of NPAs who belongs to the Guerrilla Front 71 in Malapatan, Sarangani Province.

“With our intensive security operations and continuous collaborations to our Barangay Officials, we can gear our efforts towards the attainment of peace in our communities,” Lt Col Marion Angcao 73IB commander said.

The former rebels will be presented to the LGU of Sarangani for immediate assistance and subsequently enroll them to the CLIP (Comprehensive Local Integration Program).

They will be provided livelihood assistance and they will also receive additional cash assistance for their surrendered firearms that will help them to start a new and peaceful life.

“For those NPAs who are hiding right now, it is now your chance to surrender  peacefully, bring down your firearms and avail the government programs intended for you,” Col. Roberto Ancan 1002nd Brigade Commander also said.

“You deserve to live happily with your family,” Ancan added.

Major General Noel S Clement, Commander 10th Infantry Division lauded troops accomplishment and said, “Our forces will conduct continuous intensified Focused Military Operation (FMO), Community Support Prorgam (CSP), information gathering and collaboration with the stakeholders in its Area of Operation to thwart the atrocities planned by the NPA terrorist.

“We expect more surrenderors as LGUs are in active cooperation in encouraging their constituents who belonged to CPP-NPA terrorist group to go back to the folds of the law. NPAs who remained loyal to their terroristic ideology will be dealt with accordingly,” Clement added.