From the Mindanao Times (Mar 26): 2 NPA leaders, one fighter surrender in Agusan del Sur
TWO HIGH-RANKING officials of the New Peoples’ Army and a guerrilla surrendered with their five high-powered rifles and ammunition to the 26th Infantry Battalion in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur on March 22.
Lt. Col. Rommel Pagayon of 26th Infantry Battalion (26IB) identified them as alias Bars, vice commander of Regional Sentro de Grabidad (RSDG) COMPAQ; alias IC, platoon medic of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) of Guerrilla Front Committee (GFC) 88, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC); and alias Tan, member of SYP 2, GFC 34 of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
According to Colonel Andres Centino, commander of 401st Infantry Brigade, the former rebels surrendered because they can no longer tolerate the widespread corruption inside the movement.
“The recent surrenderees heard a radio announcement on the different programs of the government and was convinced of the sincerity of the Duterte’s administration to help the former rebels especially when they found out about their former comrades were invited to Malacañang Palace to dine with our President, ” Centino said.
Earlier this month, 123 former rebels were invited by President Duterte for a three-day tour in Manila and a dinner at Malacañang Palace.
“There is a life far more progressive and peaceful than the life being experienced by the NPA terrorists in the mountains. Our president is extending his hands to help them and to find extraordinary ways to encourage them to lay down their arms and return to the mainstream society.” Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of 4th Infantry Division, said.
Aside from the dinner invitation, the female surrenderees are in the process of getting passports for a future trip abroad as a gift by the President.