Forty-three NPA members and supporters surrendered to the 8th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Poblacion, Impasugong in Bukidnon on Wednesday, May 15.
Lt. Col. Ron Illana, the commander of 8th IB, attributed the surrenders to the efforts of the community support teams that have been engaging communities and helping bringing basic services to far-flung villages.
On March 19 this year, Illana said the unit immersed its community support teams in Barangay Kibalabag, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, a geographically isolated heavily influenced by the NPA.
He said after series of dialogues, the residents understood the unit’s mission.
Then on May 15, around 43 individuals decided to surrender through the community support teams. They are composed of one regular NPA fighter, eight Militia ng Bayan members, and 34 supporters.
For the past years, they have been directly helping the Guerilla Front 89, particularly Sentro de Grabidad, operating in Malaybalay City in Bukidnon.
Illana commended the soldiers for helping convince the NPA members and supporters into surrendering.
“I am encouraging all teams immersed in other isolated areas to do the best they can for the people to understand the Army now,” he said.
“I thank also the NPA supporters who chose the right path by approaching our Army teams. This marks a new life with the government. No NPA affectation in our barangay will lead to development so I’m again calling those NPA members and supporters to approach your Army. They are there to help you get closer to our government,” he added.