From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 18, 2019): 4 more alleged NPA yield in Quezon
Four more alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered with their respective firearms to the military and police representatives in General Nakar town in Quezon province on Thursday, an Army official reported Friday.
Captain Jayrald Ternio, head of the public affairs office of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the latest rebel returnees followed the lead of 22 guerrillas who surrendered Wednesday.
“This raised the number of rebels who decided to turn their backs to the underground movement to 26 while reducing terrorist firearms in Calabarzon by 14 in just two days,” Ternio said.
The 22 guerrillas turned over 10 firearms, ammunition and materials for making landmines.
A report disclosed that the rebel returnees are Dumagats in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges and were former fighters of the Guerilla Front Cesar, the NPA unit operating in Laguna, Rizal, and Quezon.
Colonel Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade denounced the NPA for recruiting indigenous people.
“This terroristic practice is aggravated by the fact that all of the surrenderers belong to the Dumagat tribe, whose peaceful nature is being targeted and exploited by the communists, which is a clear violation of existing laws that protect the ancestral rights of our indigenous people,” Rillera said in the report.
Three of the surrenderers were “minors,” the report said.
Ternio attributed the surrenders to the “whole-of-nation approach” to end the armed conflict.
He said the approach has been causing major blows to the communist insurgency, which “has already reached a stage of irreversible collapse.”
The rebel returnees are offered livelihood financing, scholarships, housing, and free legal assistance through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration program.