MANILA – Some 30 more members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to government troops this month, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced Sunday.
The latest surrenderers were five NPA rebels from Guerilla Front 73 who voluntarily turned themselves and surrendered three high-powered firearms to the Philippine Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion on October 16.
Earlier, NPA Guerilla Front 53 member Alex Gawelan alias ‘Banate’, surrendered and turned over an M16 rifle to the Aemy’s 39th Infantry Battalion in Arakan, North Cotabato on October 1.
The AFP also facilitated other surrenders in Abra, Surigao del Sur, Zamboanga Del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao Del Norte, Compostela Valley, Occidental Mindoro, and Cagayan which yielded a total of 14 high-powered firearms such as M16, M14, AK47, and Garand rifles.
“Since day one of October, the AFP has been facilitating the surrender of more NPA members, some of whom voluntarily handed over their firearms to our troops. This affirms the continuous success of our focused military operations complemented by intelligence and civil-military efforts,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in statement.
As of Oct. 19, continuous military operations have also led to the neutralization of 609 NPA rebels. Of this number, 121 were killed in operations, 71 were arrested, while 417 surrendered.
A total of 331 high-powered and low-powered firearms were either surrendered or recovered from the rebels.
The AFP has recorded 242 incidents of NPA atrocities since the scrapping of peace talks in February.
Prior to this, communist rebels have perpetrated 20 violent activities in January 2017 alone.
“Our incessant conduct of combat, intelligence, and civil military operations are now bearing fruit as more and more NPA rebels are now returning to the government folds,” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said.
“This is a good sign that our brothers and sisters are now choosing the path of peace rather than continue on to their violent ways. On our part, we will continue to work round the clock to sustain our operations in support to the government’s peace and development efforts,” he added.