By Mike Crismundo
CAMP COL. RAFAEL C. RODRIGUEZ, Butuan City – Five active members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have abandoned the armed struggle, and turned themselves in to the government, according to the Police Regional Office 13 (PRO-13).
In a report submitted to PRO 13 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr., P/Lt. Col. Dexter B. Ollaging, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 13 (RMFB 13) commander said the surrenderers were a finance officer, a political instructor and a member of Sangay ng Partido (SP) and two regular fighters of Militia ng Bayan (MB) Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda Kingdom 4-A (SYP, K4-A), Guerilla Front 4-A (GF 4-A) and Weakened Guerilla Front 20 (WGF 20) of the CPP-NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and Southern Mindanao Regional Committee operating in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
Their names were temporarily withheld for their safety and security.
Ollaging said the surrenderers gave up themselves around 11:45 a.m. on Monday, May 4, and pledged to support the government’s peace and development program.
They also yielded two rifle grenades, two caliber .38 revolvers and assorted live ammunitions.
The regional command of PRO 13 welcomed the new surrenderers.
“Due to the crisis brought by COVID-19 pandemic, the NPAs may have already ran out of food supply, making their lives in the mountains harder,” Esquivel said.
“In fact in other areas, the rebels have resorted to grabbing of relief goods to feed themselves aside from their continued extortion activities,” he said.
Esquivel stressed that the PNP and the military have tightened security measures in the Caraga region to secure the distribution of relief goods.