Four more New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) members surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Mahagwa, Barangay Hagpa, Impasugong, Bukidnon on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
1Lt. Tere Ingente, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the rebels were members of Guerrilla Front 4B (GF4B).
One of the surrenderees was identified as alias Dalasigon, 43, who brought along his M1 Carbine rifle.
The three, she said were members of Milisyang Bayan identified as alias Lawin, 41; alias Bag-as, 27; and alias Jampee, 25, who were all from Barangay Hagpa. They also surrendered three homemade shotguns.
In his statement, Lt. Col Ronald Illana, the commander of 8th Infantry Battalion, said the surrenders were a result of the Community Support Program of the army.
“People in our priority areas are now aware of the CPP-NPA’s true intentions and that they do not want to take part of their failed armed struggle anymore,” Illana said.
Last July 16, two former NPAs of GF4B also surrendered their firearms to 8th IB headquarters in Impasugong, Bukidnon.
On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, assured the surrenderees that the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) committee of Bukidnon will ensure their proper reintegration to the community.
“Once again, we appreciate the decision of our brothers to go down and embrace peace,” Vinoya said.
“Together with the other members of the ECLIP committee of Bukidnon, we will ensure your security and that all the assistance from the program will be given to you. You have made a good and very timely decision,” he said, addressing the surrenderees.
The rebel returnees also revealed to soldiers that the NPA promised them financial support of ₱5,000 and one sack of rice every month. They also claimed that they were forced to extort from farmers every month or during harvest.
Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, the commander of 4th Infantry Division, said they received information that many of the NPAs are now waiting for the right time to surrender because of hardship. “Most of them are dismayed of the NPA terrorists’ failed promises and extortion. I encourage those who want to surrender, now is the right time to do it,” Villanueva said.