Some five New Peoples’ Army (NPA) members operating in the mountains of Kalamansig town, Sultan Kudarat, voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Marines on Tuesday.
Col. Eugenio Hernandez, 1st Marine Brigade commander, said Wednesday the rebels voluntarily surrendered to the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-2) based in Kalamansig town.
The five, including three minors, are members of Dulangan-Manobo tribe and were under the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 73 operating in the area.
Hernandez said they are now undergoing debriefing and psychological intervention to prepare them for their integration into the mainstream society.
“The identities of the surrenderers are temporarily withheld until their immediate families are secured from NPA harassment,” the Marine official said.
The returnees also being prepared for enrollment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Hernandez said the former rebels surrendered after realizing the communist guerrilla group was merely using them to recruit more members from the Indigenous Peoples communities.
“They were told to recruit more members from their tribe, and threatened them that they would be bodily harmed if they could not produce more members,” Hernandez said, citing interviews with the surrenderers.
Mayor Ronan Garcia of Kalamansig welcomed the surrenderers and urged them to convince their relatives and other tribal members to come down and avail of the government’s livelihood program.
Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Army’s 6th Infantry Division chief, lauded the Marines for facilitating the surrender of the latest batch of communists. (PNA/Edwin Fernandez)