Three rebels, including a 75-year-old member of the New People’s Army (NPA), surrendered to the authorities over the weekend in Soccsksargen area.
Capt. Mc Gary Dida, the spokesperson of 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said two of them gave up in Barangay Upper Sepaka, Surallah, South Cotabato on Saturday while the 75-year-old rebel surrendered in Barangay Upper Suyan, Malapatan, Sarangani on Friday.
Goyo Lagal Pandatu, 27, married and resident of Barangay Moloy, Surallah, and Toto Lumbay Sore, 32, married and resident of Barangay Upper Sepaka, Surallah surrendered to the troopers of the 27th Infantry Battalion.
Boy Cabisa Diale, alias Busaw, 75, married and resident of Sitio Lino, Barangay Upper Suyan, Malapatan, surrendered to the troopers of the 73rd IB.
Pandatu and Lumbay brought an M16 rifle, one improvised M79 rifle and one .45 Thompson sub-machine gun when they surrendered. Diale, on the other hand, surrendered an M16 rifle.
The three said they were tired in running and hiding in the mountains as they also feared for their lives.
“I am afraid to die in an encounter,” Pandatu said.
“I left the armed group because of their false promises,” Diale also said.
The former rebels will be presented to their respective local government units for immediate assistance and enroll them to the CLIP (Comprehensive Local Integration Program).
They will be provided livelihood assistance and additional cash assistance for the surrendered firearms.
The military has conducted intensified operations in Soccsksargen area.
For the past months of April and May, a series of encounters happened in T’boli, South Cotabato and Maasim, Sarangani that resulted to the arrest of one rebels and the recovery of four high powered firearms (three -M16 and one AK47).
“We will keep on intensifying our efforts in security operations…to further our gains and preempt possible atrocities planned by the NPA,” said Lt. Col. Jones Brisal Otida, the commander of 27th IB.
“With our intensive security operations and continuous collaborations with our Local Government Units (LGU) and other stakeholders, we can align our efforts in attaining a peaceful and conflict resilient communities within our area of operation,” also said Lt. Col. Marion Angcao, the commander of the 73rd IB.
Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, urged those active NPA rebels to give up and avail the government assistance.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, Commander of 10th Infantry Division, commended his troopers for their surrender of the NPA members.