Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NPA rebel surrenders due to fatigue, 'frustration'

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 26): NPA rebel surrenders due to fatigue, 'frustration'

A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel has surrendered to government troops due to fatigue and frustration over the alleged unfulfilled promises made by the rebel movement, a military official said.

Lt. Col. Virgilio Hamos Jr., commander of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, said that Jonelo Balabag, alias Ka Joel, 25, lashed at the communist movement for "making empty promises" during the debriefing conducted Wednesday.

Hamos said that Balabag surrendered Tuesday in the nearby town of Lakewood, facilitated by 1Lt. Michael Rabino, the battalion’s Bravo Company commander.

Balabag, who belongs to the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee SYP “Kara,” turned over an M-16 Armalite rifle and seven magazines of ammunition.

Hamos said Balabag decided to surrender because of the difficulty to move day and night to evade pursuing troops, coupled by limited food supply.

He said Balabag was also worried about his wife and three children who were left behind without the needed financial support "since the NPA leadership allegedly failed to fulfill its promise."

Balabag claimed to have received only PHP800 for the past two months, way below the "salary rate the NPA leaders in the province promised him."

Hamos said they will provide assistance to Balabag to start a new life through the government’s Firearms Remuneration Program and Comprehensive Local Integrated Program.

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