18 NPA frontliners yield to military in Sultan Kudarat
CAMP SIONGCO, MAGUINDANAO — Eighteen people who claimed to belong to the New Peoples Army (NPA) “Yunit Milisya” surrendered to government forces in Sen. Ninoy Aquino town in Sultan Kudarat province on Thursday, the Army here said.
Army 2Lt. Dennis Gamos, executive officer of 33rd Infantry Battalion Alpha company, received the former communist rebels in simple ceremonies in Midtungok village at 11 a.m.
Gamos said Narding Sunap, a.k.a. Sulong, 43, the group leader, told soldiers they wanted their names “cleared.”
They also claimed to have been recruited as the “first line of defense” of hardcore NPA members.
“Ka Makmak (NPA leader) issued us weapons to defend ourselves in case the soldiers will enter our village. My main job is to raise crops in our communal farm,” he said in the vernacular.
Pu Mapulo, 29, a Yunit Militia member, admitted they feared they may be subjected to military offensives after two of their young members surrendered to the Army earlier.
“They might have revealed our identities to the soldiers. We wanted to surrender before it is too late,” said Mapulo in broken Ilonggo.
They handed over 10 short firearms and eight rifles to the Army.
Tired and emaciated after their long trek in the forest, the surrenderees were treated to a “boodle fight” by the soldiers.
They will be formally presented to Sen. Ninoy Aquino Mayor Randy Ecija of this town on October 8, said Army Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc, 33rd IB commander.
Since May 2017, more than 200 members of the communist Guerilla Front 73 have surrendered to the 33rd IB, Cabunoc said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.