Three more rebels surrender; soldiers attacked in Talaingod

THREE MEMBERS of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion in Impasugong, Bukidnon last week.

Lt. Erwin Bugarin, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of the 8th IB, told TIMES that the three surrendered themselves bringing along with them their firearms and ammunition.

The former rebels revealed that they grew tired of living far from their families.

According to Bugarin, the returnees have started to question what they were fighting for. “They no longer want to continue the path they chose before,” he said.

For now, the returnees were currently under the custody of the unit for debriefing.

Meanwhile, efforts have already begun to help the former rebels and the unit is processing the needed requirements for them to qualify for Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (CLIP).

“This program would serve as their key to unlocking a door to their new life,” he said. “The Philippine Army aims to end this conflict to prevent further loss of lives for we believe that peace can only be attained if we stop fighting among ourselves.”

Meanwhile, 60th Infantry Battalion soldiers on a community support program (CSP) in Talaingod, Davao Norte was fired upon by members of the NPA, two days in a row this past weekend.

According to 2Lt. Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer, the soldiers were assigned to assist in the implementation of basic services in Sitio Nasilaban, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod.

The first incident transpired at about 11:20 a.m. while they were conducting a dialogue with residents. The rebels reportedly occupied the Salugpongan Community Learning Center, an elevated position from where the soldiers are.

The troops took cover but did not return fire for fear of hitting civilians in the crossfire.

The second incident happened at about 5:45 a.m. the next day in the vicinity of Sitio Nasilaban. A ten-minute firefight occurred before the NPAs withdrew.

In his statement, Lt. Col. Emmanuel Canilla, the battalion commander, explained that the presence of his troops in the area had the blessings of the local authorities and the IP communities.

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