Four Militia ng Bayan (MB) members of the New People’s Army operating in the hinterlands of Paquibato District surrendered to the 16th Infantry Battalion on Tuesday.
They brought with them 30 anti-personnel improvised explosive devices, four .38 caliber revolver with live ammunition, and 17 assorted two-way commercial radio transceivers.
Lt. Col. Darren Comia, the commander of 16th IB, said the four surrenderees claimed that they were tired of living a life on the run.
“They wanted to live a peaceful life together with their families,” he said, adding that they were disillusioned with the rebel group and understood “the futility of what they were fighting for.”
Comia refused to name the surrenderees for security reasons but said they all came from Barangay Fatima, Paquibato District.
Relatedly, a resident of Barangay Mapula of Paquibato District guided soldiers of the 16th IB to the location of one caliber .30 sniper rifle stashed in a stack of coconut husks.
“The good rapport of our personnel on the ground with the populace is starting to pick up and soon we are hopeful that there will be numerous recoveries of war materiel that will happen with the help and support of the civilian populace,” Lt. Col. Darren Comia, the battalion commander, said.
He said the sustained efforts of the Community Support Program (CSP) teams deployed all over Paquibato District paved the way for the surrender of the MBs and eventually the surrender of war materials, as well.
“Notwithstanding, the civilian populace of Paquibato District have seen a lot of efforts being undertaken by the LGU of Davao City through the Peace 911,” he added.