22 NPA leaders, members surrender in Bicol
LEGAZPI CITY – Twenty-two high ranking officers and members of New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Sorsogon province have surrendered at the Tactical Operations Group Bicol headquarters on Monday.
Major General Jesus Manangquil Jr., 9th Infantry Division commander said most of the surrenderers are political officers and squad and platoon leaders operating in Sorsogon province.
“Giving up your arms and returning back to the government is a good move towards peace and progress in the Bicol region and country as well,” he said.
He said the NPA force is getting weak as the recruitment of new members is decreasing.
“We have about 100 regulars who have surrendered and this is a good sign wherein their existence will soon be eliminated,” he said.
He also warned government officials, who support the operation of rebels, to “better stop if they don’t like to be named in public very soon and worst end up in jail.”
Brigadier General Greg Almelor, 903rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the mass surrender was made through the effort initiated by the provincial government of Sorsogon and different stakeholders.
“We have strengthened our information education campaign about the government program where there are a lot of opportunities awaiting for the NPA who would like to become a free citizen,” he said.
“The surrendering of the NPA members is a big welcome for development and it’s a start of peace between the government and rebels,” Mayor Noel Rosal, chairperson of the regional peace and order council, said.
Four long firearms and two pistols were also surrendered by the reds.
Meanwhile, the AFP has assured full security within the perimeters of the ongoing construction of Bicol International Airport in Alobo village in Daraga town in Albay province.
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