Two more New People's Army (NPA) fighters have voluntarily surrendered to the 58th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Minalwang, Claveria town, Misamis Oriental Thursday.
In a statement Friday, 58th Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Jose Eriel M. Niembra identified the surrenderees as Reyram Mansangcagan and Ariel Lindaan, members of the NPA's Guerilla Front 4B, Northern Central Mindanao Regional Committee.
They surrendered with them one .303 Springfield rifle and an M-16 automatic rifle.
Niembra said that the two rebels decided to give up after realizing the futility of armed struggle and desire to be with their families.
He added that the duo were even surprised at the respect and consideration shown to them by 58th Infantry Battalion troopers when they surrendered.
Questioning revealed that the two became full-time NPA fighters in 2013.
Upon joining, NPA leaders promised them monthly allowances and large tracts of land should the movement succeed.
However, nothing came out of these promises and incessant hardship in the mountains and causeless fighting coupled with the banditry works forced upon them by their leaders, prompted them to surrender.
“The people in the countryside are all tired of the atrocities and extortion of the New People’s Army. The populace and barangay officials are fully cooperating with the military, they are not only giving exact information on the presence of NPA bandits but convincing them as well to lay down their arms and return to mainstream society, thus, the surrender of the two former NPA members," Niembra stressed.
“Military operation against NPA bandits will push through with enthusiasm and dedication for the welfare of the people in Gingoog City specifically the province of Misamis Oriental, those who opt to lay down their arms and rejoin mainstream society are all welcome anytime this will be compensated with the local government programs and the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Guns for Peace program,” he concluded.