By Francis Wakefield
A New People’s Army (NPA) leader surrendered along with his firearm to government soldiers in Sarangani province on Tuesday afternoon.
Simeon Miguel alias Simpak, 22, married, vice team leader of platoon north of Guerrilla Front 71 FSMR (Far South Mindanao Region), a resident of Brgy. Upper Suyan, Malapatan, Sarangani Province, turned himself in along with his M16 rifle to the troops of the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Upper Suyan, Malapatan, Sarangani.
Miguel said he left the armed group because of fear of being caught in the firefight during an encounter. He also said that he was tired of hiding from government forces.
Just last week, a series of encounters transpired in Malapatan, Sarangani Province. Since then the troops of the 73rd IB intensified their pursuit operation to maintain peace in the municipality.
“It is a manifestation of our relentless efforts in winning the peace in Malapatan and freeing the municipality from the influence of NPA terrorists,” 73rd IB commander Lt. Col. Marion Angcao said.
Angcao said Simpak and other rebels who had previously surrendered will be presented to local government officials of Sarangani for immediate assistance and enrolment in CLIP (Comprehensive Local Integration Program). They will be provided livelihood assistance to start a new and peaceful life in the folds of the government.
“The brigade is always open for NPAs who are willing to surrender and enjoy the peaceful life. The government has a program that will provide livelihood assistance to help them start a living,” 1002nd Brigade commander Colonel Roberto Ancan, said.
For his part, 10th ID chief Major General Noel S. Clement, lauded the troops for their accomplishment and reiterated that they will continue to intensify their security operation to protect and secure the people within their area of responsibility.
“Together with all government instrumentalities and the people, we will continue to advance our efforts in making the CPP-NPA terrorist’s cause irrelevant,” he said.