An Army officer claimed Thursday that ten disheartened communist New People’s Army insurgents surrendered to the military in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat region.
“The surrenderers wanted to start life anew by living peacefully,” said Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander and concurrent chief of the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC).
The NPA group surrendered to security forces in Palimbang town on Wednesday afternoon.
During their surrender to the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion (37IB) in the area, the rebels also surrendered nine firearms and ammunition.
Former NPA rebels abandoned the communist organization and chose a peaceful life with their families and communities, according to Uy.
“Our efforts to defeat the NPA have been relentless. Along with the local government units, non-government, and civil society organizations, we have sustained the call for the misguided rebels to surrender and return to the folds of the law,” Uy said.
“At the same time the security forces had sustained our focused military operation targeting the communist rebels who refused to work with the government and continues to threaten the communities,” he added.
For security considerations, the military refuses to reveal the names of the NPA surrenderers.
The rebels surrendered an M203 rifle, an M16 rifle, a Browning automatic rifle, three M1 Garand rifles, two Springfield rifles with scopes, and one M79 grenade launcher, according to Lt. Col. Allan Van Estrera, the 37IB commander.
The surrenderers belonged to the weakened Daguma Front, Sub-Regional Committee Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region, which operates in the tri-borders of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani provinces, according to Col. Ali Luis Macawaris Jr, deputy commander of the 603rd Infantry Brigade, whose unit has operational control over the area.
More than 100 NPAs have surrendered to the government this year through the JTFC.