Wednesday, February 12, 2014

4 rebels surrender in Northern Samar

From the Philippine Star (Feb 12): 4 rebels surrender in Northern Samar

Four communist rebels recently surrendered to military troops in Northern Samar and will avail of the government’s social integration program.

Capt. Amado Gutierrez, spokesman of the Army’s 3rd division, said a New People’s Army (NPA) member identified by the aliases “Macky” and “Baba” turned himself over to the 34th Infantry Battalion last February 7.

“He surrendered due to the hardship and difficulties he had experienced inside the rebel movement,” Gutierrez said.

The rebel also surrendered a .22 pistol to the Army troops.

Three more insurgents, who used to be part of an NPA militia unit, surrendered the following day in Gamay, Northern Samar. The military, however, declined to identify the three rebels, citing security reasons.

Gutierrez attributed the surrender to the military's development programs in the area.

Under the local social integration program of Northern Samar, a rebel returnee will receive P10,000 worth of immediate assistance and P30,000 worth of  livelihood assistance. The former rebels will receive their benefits after completing some documentary requirements.

“The surrender of the NPA personalities depicts the general sentiment of the people in communities where NPA rebels have influence but given the chance to choose between the path to peace and violence, NPA rebels will choose peace,” said Lt. Col. Rodrigo Ilustrismo, chief of the 34th Infantry Battalion.

“With the program that Northern Samar is implementing, we are looking at more NPA rebels returning to the mainstream and contributing to the nation’s march to peace and progress,” he added.

Meanwhile, a soldier was wounded in a clash with NPA members in Monkayo, Compostela Valley last Tuesday.

Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao, said the encounter happened within the vicinity of Sitio Sapdan, Barangay Casoon at around 12:30 p.m.

“A soldier was wounded in the one-hour clash while civilians reported that the NPA (rebels) were seen dragging three heavily-wounded companions,” Caber said.

“Troops are on its effort to search NPA casualties and their armaments left in the area,” he added.

Members of the 25th Infantry Battalion recovered two M14 and M16 rifles, two landmines, 200 meters detonating wire, medical paraphernalia, personal belongings and subversive documents from the encounter site.

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