EASTMINCOM: 300 NPAs surrendered in Q1

THE EASTERN Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) recorded more than 300 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the different line battalions from January to March alone.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of EastMinCom, said that they have continuously received reports from different units of the mass surrenders of the NPAs from the different guerrilla units.

“In fact, for the month of March we have seen the increase in surrenders,” Balagtey said.

Based on their record from Jan. 1, 2018 to Mar. 12, 2018, there were 301 regular members of the NPA who surrendered to different units.

In March alone, they recorded 160 surrenders.

“So the number of surrenders this month is almost 50 percent,” he said.

Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said 90% of the 2,263 members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered nationwide in the first two months of the year came from the Davao Region.

Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, chief of AFP Public Affairs Office, said that 2,036 of the rebel returnees operated in the Davao Region. Most of the surrenders occurred in Compostela Valley.

Last Jan. 20, a total of 371 members and supporters of the NPA’s underground mass organizations (UGMO) surrendered in Maragusan town, Compostela Valley. It was followed by the surrender of 193 UGMO members and supporters in Monkayo on Feb. 3, and 166 others on Feb. 19.

As of March 4, a total of 607 regular members of the NPA yielded to government. The remaining 1,656 surrenders were members of Militia ng Bayan and UGMO.

The massive surrenders of the NPAs and their supporters were attributed to the combined focused military operations, intelligence efforts, civil-military operation, reintegration efforts and peace and development programs of the AFP, Philippine National Police, and the local government units.

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