Rebel surrenders

A FORMER communist rebel who has been         hunted by his former comrades for years gave up on Friday to the Philippine Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

Ka Jong, said to be the 140th rebel to surrender since July 9, held a leadership position when he was with the Guerilla Front 6 of the New People’s Army’s North-Central Mindanao Committee.

 2nd Lt. Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the 60th IB civil-military operations (CMO) officer, said Jong surrendered to the Alpha Company of the 60th IB in Talaingod to “clear his name” from any association with the underground movement.

 Talaingod is in the boundary of Davao del Norte and Bukidnon in which Jong’s former unit operates.

 Jong was brought to the police for blotter procedure.

 The former rebel said he has been inactive in the underground movement for at least seven years now. Jong said he has been evading them ever since because his comrades have continuously hunted him.

 Jong said he was still a minor, probably  around 12 or 13, when he was recruited.

 Aside from clearing off his association with the NPA, Jong also hopes to seek the government’s assistance for his return to normal life.

 Celestial said all rebels who wish to return to the folds of the law is welcome and is assured to receive the full assistance of the government so they can start a new life.

 The army officer emphasized that the surrender of Jong and several others is a direct result of the collaborative effort of the 60th IB and the local government units through the Community Support Program (CSP).

 Fifteen other NPA members in Talaingod surrendered to the 60th IB in 2017 following the launch of CSP.

 All of them are members of the Ata-Manobo tribe who were lured to join the movement when they were still minors.

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