BUTUAN CITY – A total of 17 members and supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion (36TH IB) at its headquarters in Barangay San Juan, Madrid, Surigao del Sur province, military reported Friday.
The 17 surenderers were composed of 4 NPA regular members, 13 Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) members composed of three Sangay sa Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) and 10 mass supporters.
They withdrew their support from the local Communist movement, and voluntarily surrendered to 36th IB commander Lt. Col. Jezreel J. Diagmel, on Wednesday, August 19.
Their surrender was made possible through the efforts of the Community Support program (CSP) teams and former rebels (FRs) deployed at Barangays Buntalid and Tigabong, all of Cantilan town of that same province, 36th IB CMO officer First Lt. Rodante A. Soso told The Manila Bulletin on Friday.
“They (FRs) disclosed the foodstuffs and other supplies including cash money extorted by the Weakened Guerilla Front 30 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee in Madrid, Cantilan and neighboring areas,” the 36th IB CMO officer said.
“The surrenderers also revealed that some individuals and establishments were the source of cash amount and food supplies in said areas,” Sosos said.
According to the CSP team, the 17 members decided to surrender because of the hardships that they experience in the hands of the communist terrorist group and their failed promises and ideologies.
Also, they added that thru the CSP they saw the sincere gesture of the government in addressing the issues and needs of the community especially, the marginalized sector and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs).
“We realized that we supported the wrong organization. We were deceived by the sweet words and false promises of the CTG in uplifting our lives where-in the reality they are the ones who forced us to provide for their foodstuff, money and other materials for their own sustenance,” Soso said, quoting the statement of one of the surrenders.