POLICE Regional Office 12 director, Brigadier General John Michael F. Dubria yesterday announced the surrender of 34 more New People’s Army rebels in the region following negotiations with local authorities.
The official told the Journal Group that the 34 yielded to them on Independence Day last Friday during simple ceremonies held at the hinterlands of Sitio Matimos, Bgy. Dumadalig, Tantangan, South Cotabato and Sitio Lower Bangkal, Bgy. Tinago, Norala South Cotabato.
Their surrender brought to 66 the total number of NPA guerrillas based in Central Mindanao who have decided to leave their mountain hideouts to avail of government livelihood programs and return to the mainstream of the society.
Dubria said the 34 also surrendered a total of 38 firearms including three caliber .45 pistols, two Uzi machine pistols, a home-made sniper rifle and three shotguns as well as one improvised explosive device, an anti-personnel and vehicle mine, seven rifle grenades, one fragmentation grenade, two hand grenades, and several NPA documents and medicine kits
Last June 2, Dubria and other officials of the Joint Provincial and Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict welcomed a total of 32 NPA members in Tantangan, South Cotabato.
The official said the 34 were convinced to yield by officials of the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office, the PRO12 Regional Mobile Group, the Armed Forces and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency during their implementation of the ‘Kapwa Ko Sagot Ko’ program in Norala municipality.
The officials gave lectures regarding Executive Order 70 which created the National Task Force- End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to implement the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in the countryside.
“We are overwhelmed by the decision of the NPA rebels to yield and surrender their weapons in order to start living a normal life, back with their families and loved ones,” Dubria said as he appealed to other NPA members in Central Mindanao to stop fighting for a wrong cause and lay down their arms.
Dubria said the 34 are now being processed in order to enable them to avail of the government benefits.