Arakan, North Cotabato- High ranking New Peoples Army (NPA) member of GF 53, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) Alex L Gawelan also known as "Banate" surrendered along with his M16 rifle to the troops of 39IB in Barangay Ganatan, Arakan, North Cotabato on Sunday afternoon, October 1, 2017.
After realizing the false hopes promised by the NPAs, “Banate” turned himself into the folds of law through the help of a Tribal Leader who facilitated his surrender to the troops of 39IB.
“Gikapoy na mi sa mga pasalig sa NPA nga wala natuman, kung naay masamdan sa among kauban amo lang ginapasagdan, unya sa gobyerno kung naay masamdan ilang ginaatiman ug ginatabangan. Nakita pud nako na gigamit lang me para tig alsa sa mga konsumo nila og gigamit para kalabanon pud ang gobyerno og ang mga pareha namo na tribu ". Im already tired of the false promises made by the NPAs, if there are wounded among our group, we just leave them behind, but the government forces treated their troops accordingly. I also realized that we were just manipulated and used to carry supplies and we are tasked to fight the government troops and even our fellow tribesmen" Banate said.
“The cooperation of the tribal leaders and the IP communities plays a significant role in reaching out the NPA’s in the hinterlands of Arakan” said Colonel Roberto Ancan, 1002nd Infantry Brigade commander.
“We are calling for members of the NPA to return to the folds of law. We believe that the NPA are just deceiving its members to commit crimes and sow terror to the people of Arakan", Ancan added.