From the Negros Daily Bulletin (Feb 25): Top Ranking NPA Gives Up
The reported number 2 leader of the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Negros Oriental has surrendered to the government troops in Friday, February 21. In a press release of 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army in Siaton, Negros oriental, the surrenderee was identified as @ CHESAM/BERNIE, 22 years old is the second in command of Squad 2, SDG Platoon, SEF, KRN operating in the areas of Pamplona, San Jose and boundaries of Sta Catalina and Siaton, Negros Oriental, decided to return to the mainstream society, facilitated by Cong. George Arnaiz of the 2nd District of Negros Oriental.
The former rebel affirmed that he decided to leave the Underground Movement since he lost interest to pursue the armed struggle because of internal conflicts in the organization and to have a lawful and peaceful life in the mainstream society.
Lieutenant Colonel Harold Anthony F. Pascua, Acting Commanding Officer of 79th Infantry (Masaligan) Battalion expressed optimism that with more people supporting IPSP "Bayanihan", the prospects for achieving peace and development is no longer afar in Negros Oriental. He encourages other members of NPA to lay down their arms and join the mainstream society and avail the program of the government, for armed struggle is not a solution to any problem. It only adds to the factors of hindrance to the developing Negros Oriental.