CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the government folds have reached to 521 since the government terminated peace negotiations with the communist organization on 04 February 2017, Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Chief said Saturday, 11 November 2017.
“The continuous surrender of NPA members is indicative of the organization’s dwindling strength. This is also a clear manifestation of our successful intensified combat, intelligence, and civil-military operations, particularly in North-eastern Mindanao which is the NPA’s area of concentration,” Colonel Arevalo said.
Since the start of November, there were 18 NPA members who voluntarily surrendered to AFP units, all of whom also turned in their firearms.
A certain Joel Embos using the alias “Jojo”, and a member of NPA’s Militia ng Bayan voluntarily surrendered with three (3) firearms to the Philippine Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion in Surigao del Sur on November 3.
On the other hand, eight (8) members of the Guerilla Front 73 carrying high-powered firearms turned themselves in to the Army’s 33IB in Sultan Kudarat on All Souls’ Day.
Meanwhile, seven (7) NPA members surrendered on November 1. A certain Mark Banahid Talusan, squad leader of an NPA platoon surrendered to members of the 27IB along with his M16 rifle in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
Four others namely Camilo Dumanglay, Allan Jeva Asalan, Welnie Sanchez, and Junrey Pinsahan yielded to the Army’s 26IB in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur while one Aman Baclayon surrendered to the 1st Special Forces Battalion along with his M1 Garand rifle in Libona, Bukidnon.
A 16-year-old Ker-Ker Saling Bangon using the alias “Tarzan” and “Tikboy” voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 27th IB in T’boli, South Cotabato. The minor also turned in his 9mm Thomgram machine pistol.
Since 04 February 2017 to date, the AFP has neutralized 736 NPAs; 521 voluntarily surrendered, 121 were killed in combat operations; 94 were apprehended. It also gained 578 high-powered and low-powered firearms from the NPAs.
“It is becoming more apparent that hardships inside the NPA organization are now taking its toll on its members leading them to cross the line and return to the folds of the law. The AFP on its part welcomes these former rebels and is willing to offer them assistance in line with the administration’s local integration programs,” General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, AFP Chief of Staff said.