2 ex-NPA rebels yield guns in Occidental Mindoro
LUCENA CITY –– Government forces recovered two M16 rifles from two former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who surrendered in Sablayan town in Occidental Mindoro.
Captain Jayrald Ternio, chief of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, on Thursday said the rebels, who surrendered on Tuesday, led the military to the location of the firearms in Barangay Pagasa on Wednesday.
“During the briefing, the surrenderers disclosed that they knew the location of the firearms that had been entrusted to them by the NPA,” Ternio said in an online interview.
Ternio said the duo were the latest among the 63 former communist guerrillas in Mindoro who have surrendered since January.
Lt. Colonel Mario Lito Retirva, commander of the Army’s 76th Infantry Battalion operating in Mindoro, said government troops had also recovered numerous M14 magazines with ammunition.
“We are expecting that more war materials will be handed over by these former rebels in the coming days,” Retirva said in a report.
Ternio said at least 80 former NPA rebels in Occidental Mindoro would receive P1.2 million worth of grants and assistance from Governor Eduardo Gadiano on Nov. 26.
The rebel-returnees are offered assistance for livelihood, scholarships, housing, and free legal help through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration program.
Since January, at least 350 alleged former NPA rebels in Southern Tagalog have surrendered to the military, Ternio reported.
Ternio attributed the mass surrenders to “demoralization among their ranks.”/lzb
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