MARAMAG, Bukidnon, Sept. 9 (PIA) - Twenty-five New People's Army (NPA) rebels and "Militia ng Bayan (NPA supporters)" surrendered to the 88th Infantry "Maringal" Battalion in Maramag, Bukidnon.
Lt. Col Franklin F. Fabic, 88IB Commander, said the surrendered rebels and supporters operate under NPA's Coy Thunder, Sub Regional Committee 2 (SRC 2), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).
"Through collaboration and dialogue, they finally decided to turn their support to the government and surrender to the troops in the course of the army's Community Support Program (CSP) in Sitio Mikatin, Kipaypayon village and Sitio Logdeck 5, Barangay Magsaysay, Quezon, Bukidnon," Fabic said.
They surrendered cache of firearms and supplies such as one Garand rifle; two home-made shotguns; one caliber .38 pistol; seven jerry cans full of rice; two generator sets; three cellular phones; two rolls of electrical wire; one Automatic Voltage Regulator; assorted medical and dental supplies; 34 rounds of calibre 30 ammunition; eight rounds of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition; and five rounds of calibre 38 ammunition.
Militia ng Bayan leader alias Junjun, said in dialect "Nag lisod na mi sa kabukiran. Daghan pasalig ang CPP-NPA nga hatagan mi ug yuta kung mudaog ang pakigbisog. Pero bakak lang diay ang tanan. Nisamot kalisod ang among kahimtang sa bukid tungod kay sige ug 'operation' ang kasundaluhan, mao nga nag desisyon mi nga mo-surrender. Dako among pasalamat sa gobyerno, sa kasundaluhan, ug sa Mayor sa Quezon tungod sa tabang nga ilang gihatag sa amo para sa among pagkinabuhi nga malinawon. (We are so tired in the mountains. The CPP-NPA promised to give us land if we win in the war, but everything is a lie. Our lives became more chaotic when soldiers operated in the area, which pushed us to surrender. We are so thankful to the government, to the soldiers, and to the Mayor of Quezon for helping us to start a new life."
Fabic said he is very much happy to welcome these former rebels who have finally decided to return to the folds of the law.
He said this the influx of surrenders only manifests the effectiveness of the army's CSP in the conflict-affected areas to counter the lies and deception of the CPP-NPA terrorists (CNTs) in the community. "Our sustained military operations put the CNTs on the run, which also causes demoralization among its rank due to hardship they are continuously experiencing in the mountains. To the CNTs, especially the Coy Thunder, better surrender now while you have still time, or else the Dragon Warriors will relentlessly hunt you down wherever you go until your destruction," Fabic said. (Norven Jay Garcia, CMO Officer, 88th Infantry Battalion, 4ID, PA/RLRB, PIA Bukidnon)