11 lumad members of NPA surrender in Sultan Kudarat
MANILA — Eleven lumad members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the Philippine Army in Sultan Kudarat Sunday morning.
1st Lt. John Austin Jamora, the commanding officer of the Alpha Company, 33rd Infantry (Makabayan) Battalion, said that the surrenderers also turned over eight high-powered rifles, including five M16 rifles, two M1 Garand Rifles, and an AK 47 Rifle.
He said that all of the surrenderers were Manobo tribe members of the hinterland village of Midtungok, in the Senator Ninoy Aquino town.
They were identified as Ayob Mopac, Benjamin Kalay, Samuel Badak, Mel Pandi, Kang Mopac, Tiin Mooac, Usad Mopac, Long Oding, Sebio Masandag, Gabriel Mopac, and Nonoy Lapi.
Col. Bismarck Soliba, commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said that the NPA in Sultan Kudarat has been losing members due to demoralization in the ranks.
“The lumads are disgruntled over the unfulfilled promises of the NPA leaders. The members are dying in the encounters but the ‘Supamil’ (family support) for their followers was not provided,” he said.
Maj. Gen Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the 6th Infantry Division, has commended the units who were involved in the surrender negotiations.
“This is a combined effort of the 33rd Infantry Battalion and the 57th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Enrique Clemente. The surrender of NPA members reflect the waning influence of the communist movement in the countryside,” said Dela Vega.
“I am glad that these rebels have realized the futility of the armed struggle. Mayor Randy Ecija Jr. of Senator Ninoy Aquino town has shown to them that the LGU is ready to address the social issues in their town,” he added. SFM
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