Two NPA fighters surrender to Army in Sultan Kudarat
TACURONG CITY — Two fighters of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), who are also brothers, have surrendered with their weapons to military authorities here on Thursday, an Army official said.
Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc, commander of 33rd Infantry Battalion, identified the surrendered rebels by their aliases “Ka Boyet,” 18, and his brother, “Ka Ato,” 18. Both belong to the Dulangan Manobo tribe in the Municipality of Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat.
The two were accompanied by their father, Jun Ador, 48, during the formal handover to Col. Robert Dauz, the newly installed Commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, at 1 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Army, the recent surrenders bring to 100, the total number of NPA fighters who have surrendered to the government since January.
Ato and Boyet said it was their father, also a former NPA rebel, who had convinced them to surrender.
“We decided to surrender because our father told us about the social benefits given by the government to former NPA combatants,” Boyet told reporters.
Cabunoc said the two former rebels also surrendered a 40mm grenade launcher and an M16 rifle.
Dauz welcomed the surrender of the brothers.
“We don’t need to fight to solve community problems. I will facilitate the release of your social benefits under the Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” he told the young rebels.
It would be recalled that 106 NPA rebels in Sultan Kudarat have earlier surrendered and were granted social benefits from the government through the “Task Force Balik-Loob” headed by former Army chief Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu.
To date, 161 former members of Guerilla Front 73 have surrendered to the 33rd IB. Most of them were Lumads or members of various indigenous communities. /muf
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