By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – A supply officer and two other regular fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to a field unit of the 73rd Infantry (Neutralizer) Battalion (73rd IB) in Southern Mindanao, 73rd IB Civil Military Operations Officer First Lt. Jessie P. Hinampas said.
In a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday, the 73rd CMO Officer said the three rebel returnees also turned in an M16 Armalite rifle, a Garand rifle and assorted live ammunitions, to the Army field unit on Saturday.
These were officially presented on Monday to 73rd IB commander Lt. Col. Ronaldo G Valdez.
Identities of the surrenderers were temporarily withheld for their safety.
They were former members of Weakened Guerilla Front 71 (WGF 71) of the CPP-NPA Far South Regional Command, the 73rd CMO officer added.
In the same statement, Valdez said the surrenderers will undergo Crop Production Training (CPT), as facilitated by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
“They will also undergo deradicalization seminar in order to prepare them to return to mainstream society,” the 73rd IB commander added.
It can be recalled that, since the start of the year, a total of 23 insurgents have already surrendered to 73rd IB, turning in a total of seven firearms.
“They are have all tired of fighting government forces, coupled with hardship and the failed promises of their recruiters are the main reasons of their going back to the fold of the law,” Valdez added.