Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, Police Regional Office-12 director (Photo courtesy of PRO-12)
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Four more members of the New People’s Army (NPA) unit operating in the hinterlands of Lake Sebu town, South Cotabato province have surrendered to government authorities, a police official said on Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, Police Regional Office (PRO-12) director, said the rebels yielded voluntarily along with their firearms on Tuesday in Sitio Lamfetok, Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu.
He said the surrender was an offshoot of a series of negotiations facilitated by the intelligence team of the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office, in coordination with community leaders and the Lake Sebu municipal police station.
The initiative was supported by the PRO-12’s Intelligence Unit (RIU-12) and Mobile Force Battalion, Philippine National Police-Intelligence Group, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency-12, and the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion.
Dubria said the two of the returnees were former team leaders while the two others were regular cadres of Platoon Samsung, Guerilla Front 73-Musa of the NPA Far South Mindanao Region.
They surrendered an M14 rifle with a magazine loaded with 10 bullets and a TEC-9 Type SMG caliber 9-mm handgun with one magazine and 10 bullets.
The four are currently in the custody of the RIU-12 in Camp Fermin Lira here for debriefing and documentation.
Last week, six NPA rebels under the Front 73 also surrendered to Army troopers in Lake Sebu. They yielded two M16 rifles, two M14 rifles, a Carbine rifle, one 9-mm pistol, and assorted bullets.
In the last two months, a total of 46 NPA combatants have surrendered in Lake Sebu through the efforts of the RIU-12.
“The increasing number of CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA militants indicates that most of them are already waking up and aware of the deceptions of the communist ideology,” Dubria said in a statement.
He said they expect more rebels will also surrender in the coming days and avail of the government’s reintegration offer through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
The program provides rebel returnees with financial and livelihood assistance as well as other support packages from various government agencies. (PNA)