An alleged leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) hit squad operating in North Cotabato surrendered to the troops of the 72nd Infantry Battalion last week.
He was identified as alias Harold, 30, resident of Purok 4, Barangay Balite, Magpet, North Cotabato.
Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said the rebel surrendered through the help of his family. He brought with him one .45 caliber Taurus pistol with live ammo and one fragmentation grenade.
In an interview with soldiers, he disclosed that he was a team leader of the Special Partisan Unit Guerilla Front 53 operating in the second district of the province.
He decided to surrender because of the pressure and hardship they were experiencing due to the relentless operations of government troops.
Days after his surrender, he also pointed troops to an arms cache comprising of an AK47, M4 Carbine, one M635 with M203 grenade launcher, one Mother CAPTO anti-vehicle IED, one Baby CAPTO anti-vehicle IED, one CDX Claymore-type anti-personnel IED, 147 meters duplex electrical wires, 2720 rounds Armscor Cal 5.56mm ammunition, 307 rounds cal. 7.62mm M60 ammunition, 400 rounds of 5.56mm K3 ammunition (link), and seven .40 caliber GL ammunition.
Lt. Col. Rey T. Alvarado, commanding officer of the 72IB, expressed his gratitude to the people instrumental in his surrender and the recovery of the arms cache.
Col. Gabriel C. Viray III, commander of 901st Infantry Brigade, said the government’s door is always open to NPA rebels who want to surrender. He said they are eligible for the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which is intended for former rebels who want to live in peace with their families.
“We are hoping that they will take the opportunity being offered by the government thru E-CLIP. In this way, they will have a chance to start anew and redeem their lost time,” Viray said.