Around 300 former rebels surrendered to the different units under the 4th Infantry Division in Agusan and Surigao Del Sur earlier this week.
Capt. Reggie Go, the spokesperson of 4th ID, said with the community support programs backed by intensified security operations against the NPA, the former rebels were forced to abandon their fight.
In Agusan del Sur, six heavily armed rebels, including two commanding officers, one political guide, one medic, one team leader and one squad member, availed of the different programs so they can resume their normal lives on March 3.
Go said they were members of Guerrilla Front 3 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, the unit that is mainly responsible for all atrocities in the area.
They brought one AK-47 rifle, one M16A1 rifle, two Cal. 45 pistols, two Cal. 38 pistols, two hand grenades, two improvised pipe bombs, five blasting caps, five meters detonating cord, four magazines of AK-47 with 97 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, five short steel magazines of M16A1 with 126 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.
“We just want to go back to our families and live a normal and peaceful life,” one of the NPA leaders said.
The surrenderees also reportedly soldiers that there are more coming as their former comrades could not longer live a life on the run. “If we do not surrender now, either we die in battle, perish in hunger or succumb to illness. Laying down our firearms is the only choice we have,” another commanding officer said.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Andres Centino, the commander of 401st Infantry Brigade, said the surrenders are expected to have a deep impact on the other rebel units in Mindanao. He alleged that the rebels are suffering from mobilization.
“The CPP-NPA has no one to blame but itself. People have already gotten weary of the senseless violence,” he added.
Based on the record of the 4th Infantry Division, since January of this year, 352 former rebels have already returned to the government and are now back with their respective families.
Earlier this week, nine former NPA with nine assorted firearms also surrendered to the 26th Infantry Battalion.