COVID-19 crisis forces 50 NPAs to surrender in Sarangani

By Joseph Jubelag

GENERAL SANTOS CITY - Some fifty members of the New People’s Army (NPA) yielded Thursday to police authorities in Kiamba, Sarangani.

Police Regional Office 12 Director Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria said the NPA surrenderers belonged to the NPA Guerilla Front 73 operating in Sarangani and South Cotabato, and were presented to Saragani Gov. Steve Solon and Kiamba Mayor Danny Martinez.

Dubria said the the surrenderers also yielded 10 assorted high-powered firearms, including a rifle grenade and fragmentation grenade.

Solon said the former rebels will be provided with livelihood assistance under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the provincial government.

Martinez said the municipal government will provide housing units for the surrenderers.

One of the surrenderers, alias Commander Tiger, said they opted to surrender due to the hardship and difficulties they were experiencing amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis which had adversely displaced them from their communities.

He said he and other colleagues have given up their allegiance to the NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), as they promised to rejoin mainstream society and live a peaceful life.

As a gesture of withdrawing their support from the NPA, the surrenderers set on fire an NPA flag after the program.

Dubria said more than 100 NPA rebels yielded to PRO-12 in the past month amid the implementation of enhanced community quarantine across the SOCCSKSARGEN region which covers the provinces of Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Saragani and Cotabato City and this city.