26 NPA fighters surrender to government
MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-six New People’s Army (NPA) fighters, including three minors as young as 17, have surrendered to government forces after a series of negotiations with the military and the police, Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza, Calabarzon police director, said Monday.
Carranza said the NPA rebels surrendered on Oct. 16 and 17 through negotiations by joint elements of the 202nd Brigade of the Philippine Army, the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 4-A in coordination with the Quezon and Rizal Police Provincial Offices.
The former NPA rebels laid down 14 firearms, assorted ammunition, and explosives. Of the surrenderers, nine are female with ages ranging from 17 to 49, and 17 are male with ages ranging from 20 to 53.
“The mass surrender of the above-mentioned CNT (Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA Terrorists) members is the result of persistent information operation efforts of the PNP Calabarzon and the 202nd Brigade of Philippine Army in partnership with concerned LGUs (local government units), member agencies of the task force and the community itself,” Carranza said in a press statement.
RID4A chief Col. Serafin Petalio II said some of the surrenderers were involved in the burning of heavy equipment in Real town, Quezon in September 2018 and April this year. He said they also engaged government troops in an encounter in General Nakar, Quezon in July 2018 and May 2019.
According to Carranza, the latest batch of surrenderers brings the number of former NPA fighters who yielded to authorities in Calabarzon to 97 since the implementation of Executive Order No. 70, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Dec. 4, 2018.
A total of 57 assorted firearms and explosives were also turned over during the period.
EO 70 directs the adoption of a national peace framework and institutionalizing the “whole-of-nation” approach in ending the local communist armed conflict.
Maj. Israel Galorio, Civil Management Operations Officer of the 202nd Brigade, said the provinces of Cavite and Laguna were identified as insurgency-free after authorities decreased the activities of rebels to “insignificant level.”
Carranza said the former NPA rebels would be housed for three months in halfway houses while the Department of the Interior and Local Government would process necessary documents for their benefits before their reintegration to society.
He added they would receive P50,000 worth of livelihood assistance and P15,000 cash assistance.
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