COTABATO CITY - Empty promises by the New People's Army (NPA) have pushed 11 NPA rebels to surrender Friday to government authorities in North Cotabato, officials said.
The NPA surrenderers claimed they belonged to front-line groups of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and United Small Farmers Association of Barangay Midpapan, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato.
"We want to live normal lives where we are no longer afraid to see or meet government forces anytime and anywhere," one of the surrenderers identified only as "Ka Aming" said in the vernacular.
The surrenderers also denounced their former groups, set ablaze their movement flag, and pledged allegiance to the Philippine flag.
They turned over assorted firearms to the military.
Colonel Jovencio Gonzales, Army's 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, presented the NPA surrenderers to Mayor Jean Dino Roquero of Pigcawayan town.
Roquero vowed to help the former NPA rebels as well as facilitate their livelihood assistance from the government.
Gonzales urged other rebels to surrender and avail of the peace package of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Since January, around 70 NPA rebels have surrendered to the government with the areas of operation of the Army's 6th Infantry Division.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as "an integral and inseparable part" of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)