More NPA rebels surrender, as troops close in on NPA lairs

More NPA rebels surrender, as troops close in on NPA lairs

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the branch of the Philippine Army is making giant strides towards peace in the provinces of Agusan and Surigao.

The Community Support Programs in placed with an intensified security operations against the communists have forced over 300 former Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) terrorist to abandon their hideouts in the mountains and immediately took the opportunity to grab the hand of peace offered by the government.

In Agusan alone, heavily armed CNT-two commanding officers, one political guide, one medic, one team leader and one squad member, have finally seen the light and backed out from the dead ideology this organization is fighting for.

(photo credit to owner)

They are members of the Guerilla Front 3 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, the terror unit which has been mainly responsible for all atrocities in the area such as arsons, murders and extortions.

The rebels  brought with them assorted firearms, ammunition and explosives including an AK47 rifle, an M16A1 rifle, two Cal. 45 pistol, two Cal. 38 pistol, two hand grenades, two improvised pipe bombs, five blasting caps, five meters detonating cord, four magazines of AK47 with 97 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, five short steel magazines of M16A1 with 126 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition and two bandoliers.

“We just want to go back to our families and live a normal and peaceful life. Life has not been easy for us in the mountains but it was more difficult for the families that we have left behind. They suffer more than we do because we cannot provide for them,” one of the rebel leader said.

“The firearms and weapons that we brought down with us has become our tool for aggression and oppression against our very own neighbors and we just do not want to be part of the senseless violence anymore”, he added.

“Demoralization among NPA members is at an all-time high due to the influx of surrenderers. The CPP-NPA has no one to blame but itself. People have already gotten weary of senseless violence,” Brig. Gen. Andres Centino, the Commander of the 401st Brigade, said.

Over 300 rebels have returned to government fold

The 4th Infantry Division show that since January of this year, a total of 352 NPAs have already returned to the government side, and are now back with normal lives and with their respective families. Earlier this week, nine former rebels with nine assorted firearms also surrendered to the 26th Infantry Battalion.
For Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, Commander of 4th Infantry Divisionof the Philippine Army, the latest surrender was proof that “we can gradually achieve peace without resorting to violence and bloodshed.”
“Their surrender is another milestone in our quest for a just and long-lasting peace. Let us all wage a peaceful war together- one that values lives above anything else. We can rise amidst chaos and conflict without killing each other,” Gacal said.
Gacal assured all insurgents still waging a futile war that they will be treated with dignity and care should they choose to go back to the folds of the law.

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Report from Manila Bulletin

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