4 alleged NPA leaders from Mangyan tribe surrender in Oriental Mindoro
LUCENA CITY –– Four alleged communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, two couples from the indigenous Mangyan tribe, surrendered in Oriental Mindoro province, the military said.
Captain Jayrald Ternio, head of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division public information office, said in a statement Wednesday that the first Mangyan couple, alias “Elsie” and “Justin,” turned themselves to the Army’s 203rd Infantry Brigade (IB) in Barangay Benli in Bulalacao town on Dec. 28.
Ternio said the couple decided to surrender after a series of negotiations with leaders of the Seventh-Day Adventist and Catholic churches.
“They were the ones who were wounded during the encounter at Sitio Taboy-Taboy on Sept. 14 wherein a female terrorist got killed,” Ternio recalled.
Colonel Jose Augusto Villareal, 203rd IB commander, commended the local officials and the religious leaders for convincing the couple to surrender.
Ternio said another Mangyan couple, alias “Gilbert” and “Delia,” also surrendered to Army soldiers and policemen in Barangay Panaytayan in Mansalay town also on Monday. No other details were provided.
The four surrenderers were squad commanders and supply officers of the NPA unit operating on the island, according to Ternio.
Major General Greg Almerol, commander of the Army’s 2nd ID, welcomed the rebel returnees “for their wise decision to free themselves from terrorism as they will soon welcome the coming year with opportunities for a new life.”
“These series of surrenders across Southern Tagalog is a clear sign that the NPA is on the verge of irrecoverable defeat,” he said.
The military is providing all necessary assistance to the former rebels in their reintegration under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
E-Clip offers free medical treatments, education, housing, and legal aid to rebels who will surrender.
Since 2019, more than 700 former NPA rebels have surrendered in Southern Tagalog, Ternio claimed.
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