7 rebels, 35 ‘people’s militia’ surrender in Masbate
LUCENA CITY—At least seven alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and 35 “people’s militia” (militia ng bayan) operating in Masbate province surrendered to the military on Sunday, the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Southern Luzon Command (AFP-Solcom) said Tuesday.
Colonel Teody Toribio said the rebels also surrendered two M16A1 rifles, one caliber .30 Garand rifle, three caliber .38 revolvers, one caliber .45 pistol, and one improvised explosive device to the Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion. The members of the NPA’s “people’s militia” also yielded six assorted short firearms.
Toribio tagged the members of the rebel’s militia as supporters of the communist guerrillas in Balud town.
The surrenderers will be listed in the Comprehensive Local Integration Program that gives financial and livelihood assistance to former communist rebels who returned to the fold of the law.
Toribio said he and several Army commanders in the field have been receiving surrender feelers lately.
“It seems that our brothers in the hills are now tired of being hunted. They now want to live peacefully with their families,” Toribio, a native of Camarines Norte, said.
In a statement, Lt. General Danilo Pamonag, Solcom commander, said: “The series of surrenders indicates that the move of the government and the efforts of the AFP is taking its toll on the rebel group and they heard the call of our president to lay down their arms and abandon the armed struggle”.#
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