NPA leader surrenders in Cotabato

Military authorities in Makilala, North Cotabato, on Wednesday have recovered a cache of firearms and explosives with the help of a former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel leader.

Lt Col. Rojon Rosales, commander of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion, said the war materiel was immediately presented to Brig. Gen. Robert Ancan, chief of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade based in Makilala.

Rosales said the recovery of the firearms and explosives in the borders of Makilala in North Cotabato and in the Davao del Sur town of Bansalan was made possible through the help of a former NPA leader, identified only as “Amahan,” the former deputy secretary of the NPA Guerilla Front 51.

The firearms included an M653 Elisco rifle, four M16 rifles, one AK-47 rifle, two Garand rifles, several hand grenades, medical kit, and an NPA flag. “Some of the guns were recovered in Barangay Coronon, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur,” Rosales said.

He said that when “Amahan” surrendered to the Army, he vowed to help the soldiers locate the firearms hidden by his former comrades in Barangay Batasan, Makilala and in Sta. Cruz.

Rosales said Amahan decided to surrender due to the NPA’s failure to attend to his health needs.

Amahan claimed the leadership of the NPA Guerilla Front 51 wanted him to take the post of Jacob Rodinas, the deputy leader of the group who died in a clash with Army troopers last year.

Rosales said the Army maintains its door open for rebels who would like to come down from the hills and rejoin the mainstream society. (PNA/Edwin Fernandez)