By Glazyl Masculino
BACOLOD CITY – A high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the military, according to the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde) in Negros Occidental on Thursday.
The insurgent leader, a 33-year-old from Himamaylan City, was reported be a full-time Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) member, and was commanding officer of a local guerilla unit in Central Negros.
He decided to return to the fold of law through the joint efforts of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB) and 94th IB.
The former rebel, whose name was withheld, also turned over an M16 rifle with a magazine, a .45 caliber pistol with two magazines, assorted ammunition, and a handheld radio with accessories.
Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd IBde commander, said that the continuous hardships, hunger, and false promises of NPA leaders have prompted him to go back to the fold of the law.
He was already undergoing custodial and stress debriefing prior to his enrollment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in order to receive immediate welfare assistance, livelihood assistance, and incentives for the surrendered firearms.
The former rebel also revealed to the authorities the continuous exploitation of the NPAs among the masses in the outlying sitios of Central Negros, and the alleged involvement of a certain barangay official in facilitating the transport of logistics and ranking NPA Communist leaders.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of 3rd Infantry Division (ID), said he appreciated the decision of the former guerilla commander to surrender.
“He made a good decision to go back to the folds of the law because he has not only avoided misfortune, following the resumption of our offensive operations, but was also able to reunite with his family who needs him the most in these trying times,” he added.