Friday, June 2, 2017

4 NPA rebels in Maguindanao yield

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 2): 4 NPA rebels in Maguindanao yield

Four communist rebels in Maguindanao decided to surrender today and join the mainstream after they were demoralized by lip service of communist leaders.

Four New People's Army (NPA) rebels voluntarily surrendered to Lt. Colonel Lauro Oliveros, commander of 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Mechanized Division, Philippine Army in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Capt. John Ervin Encinas, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, identified the NPAs as Winel Oyon alias Bernie Oyong, 20; Kalas Ebus Mulok alias Nardo, 25; Mintes Ebus Sidula alias Minte, 42; and Bonie Sabnol Tumbalay, 34.

Encinas said all of them are members of the Manobo Tribe in Barangay Kabanalian, Esperanza and Barangay Bugso, Senator Ninoy Aquino, both in Sultan Kudarat province.

He said the four rebels turned over one M14 US rifle, two long barrel shotguns, one Springfield rifle, and assorted magazines and ammunition.

Col. Oliveros said the NPAs in Sultan Kudarat are losing members due to demoralization in their ranks caused by the unfulfilled promises of the NPA leaders.

Oliveros quoted one of the NPA as saying that they were tired of running away from government forces and their being rebels prevented them from farming and feeding their families.

Major General Arnel Dela Vega, 6th Infantry Division chief and Joint Task Force Central Commander, believed the Army’s sustained military operations in the area was a major factor in the surrender.

He added massive awareness campaign by the Army on Indigenous Peoples communities, especially the Manobo tribe, helped in the rebel’s decision to take another path, the right path.

"The IPs were actually victims of deception and their surrender greatly reduced the NPA-influenced areas thereby limiting their maneuver space," Dela Vega said.

He said a livelihood package will be provided by the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat as part of the efforts to encourage other victims of the NPAs to return to the mainstream society.

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