NDF spokesman in southern Mindanao surrenders
KORONADAL CITY – The spokesperson of the National Democratic Front’s Far South Mindanao Region has surrendered to the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion, the military said.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Leander, the 27th IB commander, said Tuesday that Noel Legazpi alias Ka Efren Aksasato, yielded with his wife, Wendy, on Monday.
Leander said Legazpi had voluntarily surrendered through the help of South Cotabato local officials.
He said Legazpi, 58, had served as NDF-FSMR spokesperson for the past 20 years while his wife was the chief medic of the New People’s Army’s medical team.
The FSMR covered the provinces of Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Sarangani and part of Sultan Kudarat and Davao del Sur.
“He has been in the movement for 26 years already,” Leander said.
Leander said the couple’s surrender was realized after months of negotiations with the help of South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes.
“Gov. Fuentes had helped a lot in convincing Ka Efren to come down,” Leander said.
While Legazpi had not been presented to the public to speak on the reasons of his surrender, Leander said the surrendered rebel leader had told him that he had grown tired of running away from government forces.
“He just wanted to live peacefully,” Leander added. “I hope his surrender will encourage other rebels to come down.”
He said the couple was qualified to avail of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), a livelihood assistance package for rebel returnees.
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