Puerto Princesa City, Palawan — Fraught with continuing focus and civil military operations in the hinterlands of southern Palawan, four active members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered and turned over their firearms to government forces from the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Command (AFP-WESCOM).
Captain Cherryl Tindog, WESCOM spokesperson, on Sunday said two male and two female NPA rebels, three of them still in their teens, surrendered to the military.
She identified the male rebels who surrendered last September 28 as Jeffrey Orit Sampaca, alias Ka Ruben and Ka Dante, 25; and Henry Poyang Minduk , alias Ka Daniel, 18, both residents of Sitio Tabud, Barangay Saraza, Brooke’s Point.
The two females who surrendered were Germalyn Batuan Pitogo, alias Gengen, 16, and Analyn Pitogo Ambuan, alias Ansa, 19, both residents of Sitio Macagua, Barangay Amas, Brooke’s Point, who surrendered on September 29.
Tindog said Sampaca and Minduk turned over their firearms – an M16 Bushmaster with one short magazine, and an M1 garand with five clips and 40 rounds ammunition, two IEDs, and one rocket parachute flare – to troops belonging to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4).
Pitogo and Ambuan, on the other hand, surrendered through the intervention of Pala tribal leader Cunanam Pitogo.
The tribal leader is the father of Germalyn and the uncle of Analyn.
The WESCOM condemns the use of child soldiers of the communist-terrorists in Palawan in their ranks and operations, she said as she noted that “child soldiering is a clear violation of human rights and the International Humanitarian Law.”
Tindog said the four rebels are now under the custody of the military for validation and documentation, facilitation of their application for the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) of the provincial government, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
“We are glad that these four communist-terrorists have decided to surrender and return to the fold of the law. Their surrender, together with their firearms, IEDs and other war materials is a serious blow to communism-terrorism in the province,” said WESCOM commander Major General Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr.
Kintanar added the WESCOM continues to urge other members of the NPA to put their arms down and surrender.
“The LSIP and the CLIP are waiting for them to start their lives anew,” the WESCOM commander said.
Meantime, three soldiers from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 (MBLT-12) suffered minor injuries in a Saturday morning ambush that was apparently perpetrated by the NPA in Sitio Italpak, Barangay Dumarao, Roxas.
The three wounded Marines were part of a convoy returning to the MBLT-12’s headquarters in Roxas following a logistics run from Taytay town in northern Palawan.