From the Mindanao Examiner Blog site (Aug 11): 2 commies abandon unit, surrender to military in Southern Philippines
Two communist rebels have abandoned their unit and surrendered to the military in the southern Philippines, officials said Sunday.
Officials said the duo - Bryan Corminal and Jonathan Arguelles – surrendered to the Army’s 42nd Reconnaissance Company under the 4th Infantry Division in the village of Sico-sico in Surigao del Norte’s Gugaquit town.
They also led troops near a riverbank where they hid their weapons – 2 M16 and 2 Ak47 automatic rifles – which they took from the New People’s Army.
Corminal and Arguelles said that they could no longer bear the hardship running away from government forces and wanted to live peacefully with their respective families.
“The firearms of Corminal and Arguelles will help them start anew through the AFP Guns for Peace Program. We will ensure that what is due for them will be provided including the livelihood package from the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace Process,” Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier Cruz, chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
“We are continually inviting all NPA members to lay down their arms. It is obvious now how they have suffered and experience hardship from their leaders and the rotten communist ideology. We are encouraging everyone to facilitate and assist the surrender of our brothers who are still in the mountains because it is only through "bayanihan" that we can achieve lasting peace," Cruz added.
The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines which is fighting for decades for the establishment of a separate state in the country.
The forum was attended by leaders of indigenous peoples, academe, business, civil society, and local communities during which she explained the status of the peace negotiations with the Moro Front.
Coronel-Ferrer was accompanied by peace panel members Yasmin Busran-Lao and Senen Bacani, and the panel’s military adviser, Major General Leo Crescente Ferrer.
Mindanao has been rocked by a series of bomb attacks within the last two weeks with the blasts in Cagayan de Oro on July 26 which killed eight people and in Cotabato on Monday that also killed nine people and wounded many others.
On Wednesday morning, seven soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Shariff Mustapha Saidona town in Maguindanao. Earlier on the same day, a bomb blasted off near a radio station and pawnshop in Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Coronel-Ferrer explained that even as the bombings were not linked to efforts to derail the peace process between government and the MILF, these have painted a negative impression on the parties’ capacity to find a lasting solution to the conflict in the region, said Rosauro in his report.
“Bombings and other inhumane acts have not softened our resolve to continue to work for non-violence, peace and development in these areas that have suffered far too long from hostilities,” she pointed out.
Coronel-Ferrer said the bombings in Cagayan de Oro and Cotabato “are an affront to the people of Mindanao’s right to personal and collective well-being and security.”
“We take heart in the peaceful mobilizations of the residents of Cagayan de Oro that show that they will not live with this kind of violence. The people of Cotabato should likewise show their indignation, as should the rest of the country,” she added.
Muhammad Ameen, chair of the MILF general secretariat, described the Cotabato bombing as “barbarism.”
Ameen said the attack “deliberately targeted” civilians “as means to deliver a message for an evil agenda.”
“Whoever did this deserved the wrath of Allah,” Ameen added.