NINOY AQUINO — Eleven members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the Philippine Army in Barangay Midtungok village here on Sunday morning.
1st Lt John Austin Jamora, commanding officer of the Alpha Company, 33rd Infantry (Makabayan) Battalion, said the surrenderers also handed over eight high-powered rifles that included five M16, two M1 Garand, and an AK-47.
Jamora said the rebels belong to the indigenous Manobo tribe living in the hinterland villages of Midtungok.
They were identified as Ayob Mopac, Benjamin Kalay, Samuel Badak, Mel Pandi, Kang Mopac, Tiin Mooac, Usad Mopac, Long Oding, Sebio Masandag, Gabriel Mopac, and Nonoy Lapi.
Col. Bismarck Soliba, commander of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said the NPA in Sultan Kudarat are losing members due to demoralization in their ranks.
“The IPs are disgruntled over the unfulfilled promises of the NPA leaders. The members are dying in the encounters but the ‘supamil’ (family support) for their followers was not provided,” he said.
Major Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division commander, commended the units involved in the surrender negotiations.
He said the surrender was a result of combined efforts of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, under Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc and the 57th IB under Lt. Colonel Enrique Clemente.
“The surrender of NPA members reflect the waning influence of the communist movement in the countryside,” said Dela Vega.
“I am glad that these rebels have realized the futility of the armed struggle,” he added.
According to Dela Vega, Mayor Randy Ecija Jr, of Sen. Ninoy Aquino town, has shown that the LGU is ready to address the social issues in their town.