ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Philippine Army on Monday said seven communist rebels have surrendered separately in the southern region of Mindanao where security forces are battling the New People’s Army.
Army Captain Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the latest surrender of NPA rebels added to 200 more that yielded to them last year.
He said many of those who surrendered had complained about the hardships in the mountains and the false promises made by NPA commanders, and the government offer of amnesty and livelihood to rebels on top of various social programs aimed at luring them into the folds of the law.
Caber identified the surrenderees as Efren Genoya, who is an alleged leader of a NPA extortion unit; Ailyn Pandatu, Ena Pandatu, Bonjoe Ulaw, Dodok Quileste; and two others known only by their first name as Bryan and Jason.
He said the rebels surrendered to the 66th Infantry Battalion, 67th Infantry Battalion and the 27th Infantry Battalion in Compostela Valley, South Cotabato and Davao Oriental provinces.
Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz 3rd, the division commander, commended the surrender of rebels. “I am confident that there would be more NPA returnees in the coming days. This is the result of the collaboration between our local officials, community and our Bayanihan teams on peace outreach works in the far flung villages,” Cruz said.
There was no immediate statement from the NPA about the surrender of the rebels. The NPA continues to wage a secessionist war in an attempt to put up its own communist state in the country. AL JACINTO