8 Red fighters surrender in Quezon, says PH Army
LUCENA CITY –– At least eight alleged former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, two them reportedly “child warriors,” surrendered to police and Army representatives in General Nakar town in Quezon province.
In a press statement issued Friday, Captain Jayrald Ternio, head of the public affairs office of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the surrender took place on December 12.
Ternio said the former rebels turned over two shotguns, three handguns, and ammunition.
One of the minors is a 13-year-old boy while the other is 17, who was reportedly forced to join the underground movement when he was still 15.
“They were forced by the rebels to join their ranks and were forbidden to leave a terrorist camp under threat of severe repercussions to their families,” said Colonel Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction in northern Quezon.
However, there was no means to immediately verify and validate the claims of the military and the narrative of the alleged rebel returnees.
But on Thursday, the NPA rebels in Southern Tagalog refuted the military report that 48 Red fighters surrendered after the arrest and death of two ranking rebel leaders in the region.
“It was psywar and fake news,” the NPA’s Melito Glor Command, said in a statement.
The NPA command accused the military of concocting lies and fomenting intrigue with the “malicious” report.
The military refuted the claims of the communist rebels.
“That’s their mother tongue speaking. Any reports from the government or military are always fake for them,” Ternio retorted./lzb
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