ZAMBOANGA CITY – A senior communist rebel leader surrendered Wednesday to the Philippine Army following a series of negotiations in the southern region of Mindanao, officials said.
Officials said Narciso Pulbos Ruben is the leader of New People’s Army (NPA) forces operating in Compostela Valley province.
Major Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the rebel leader’s surrender proved the effectiveness of the military’s Peace and Development Outreach Program.
Cruz urged other rebels to return to the fold of the law and avail of the various government integration and humanitarian programs.
He said the rebels can benefit from the government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program which provides livelihood and financial aid to surrendering rebels.
“Please take advantage of the government’s integration program. It will provide you an opportunity to return back to your families and communities through the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government and together we shall solve our problems the peaceful way,” Cruz said.
He said Ruben will receive cash for the weapons he surrendered to the military under the “Guns-for-Peace Program”.
Cruz said the surrender of Ruben was made possible through the efforts of the peace and development teams under the Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of 10th Infantry Division. He said an emissary, whose identity was withheld for security reasons, helped in the negotiations for Ruben’s surrender.
Ruben told military interrogators he joined the NPA in 1997. He held various positions with the Samahang Yunit Pampropaganda and became a team leader of a medical unit and a political instructor of the Pulang Bagani Command 5 until he was named Front Secretary in February last year.