4 NPA leaders surrender; 1 hurt Red fighter rescued

Four high-ranking leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA) and two members surrendered to the 46th Infantry Battalion in Mabini, Compostela Valley on Friday.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), identified the high-ranking NPA surrenderees were identified as alias Joffrey, political instructor of the Sentro De Grabidad (SDG) Platoon; alias Sander, vice commander of the SDG; alias Anthony, squad leader; alias Arnel, team leader, Abe Squad 1, SDG.

The other surrenderees were identified as alias Renz and alias Tenie, both members of Squad 2, SDG, all of Guerrilla Front 33.

Balagtey said the surrenderees initially turned over four .45 caliber pistols. But they also pointed out where they hid four AK47 rifles, which were later recovered.

The rebels surrendered to the 46th Infantry Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division under Lt. Col Benjamin A Dao-on, the newly designated battalion commander. The 46th IB is under the operational control of the 1001st Infantry Brigade.

Meanwhile, Col Gilbert Saret, commander of 1001st Infantry Brigade, assured the former rebels of assistance as they return to the mainstream society.

“We would like to welcome our brothers who were victims of NPA exploitation,” Saret said. “We want to assure them that we will assist them as they return to the folds of the law, particularly, in their enrollment with the Enhance Comprehensive Localized Integration Program or the E-CLIP,” he added.

Wounded NPA fighter rescued

A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was rescued by the local government unit of Lupon and troops of the 28th Infantry Battalion at the vicinity of Barangay Maragatas, Lupon, Davao Oriental around 9 a.m. on Friday.

Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon, the battalion commander identified him to TIMES as Jason Languban, a resident of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. Ramon said the wounded NPA was brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Treatment (SPMC) after he sustained three gunshot wounds on his chest.

On Sept. 13, there was an encounter between troops of 28th IB and NPAs in Barangay Maragatas, which killed one soldier. Troops found the fighter after the clash and rescued him.

In his statement, Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, the commander of 10th Infantry Division, said, “We will always be steadfast in adherence to the provisions on the respect of Human rights, IHL and rule of law.”

“The wounded NPA deserved a chance to live but it doesn’t mean that he will be spared of the crimes he has committed,” Clement added.

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