Two men who claimed to be members of the New People’s Army in southern Negros Oriental voluntarily surrendered to the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army Monday.
They were identified as “Dagul”, 21, and “Ivan”, 29, (not their real names), alleged members of Squad 3, Sentro de Gravidad Platoon of the South East Front-Komiteng Rehiyon Negros operating in Pamplona and San Jose towns, and in the boundaries of Sta. Catalina and Siaton, in Negros Oriental.
The former rebels said they lost interest in pursuing the armed struggle and decided to leave the underground movement because of internal conflicts in the organization. They also said they can sense that it is on the brink of collapse, a press release from the 79th IB said yesterday.
They said their surrender was to clear their names and go back to mainstream society to live peacefully with their families.
Lt. Col. Harold Anthony Pascua, acting commanding officer of the 79th IB, d said the surrender of the two “a clear manifestation that the New People’s Army in the area is weak and in skeletal condition as they experience both combat and social pressure”.
Pascua added that now that the province of Negros Oriental has been declared as Conflict Manageable and Development Ready, more and more pressure among the people will be experienced by the armed group and he is calling on the remaining elements of the NPA in Negros Oriental to lay down their arms and, together, solve the problems peacefully.
The 79th IB will help facilitate, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, the surrender of ‘Dagul” and “Ivan” for them to avail of the Local Social Integration Program of the province, that provides cash assistance for livelihood.*JFP
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