ZAMBOANGA CITY – Six members of the New People’s Army (NPA), including a supply officer and a female medic, surrendered to the military in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat on Wednesday, January 13.
Armed Force of the Philippines- Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt Gen Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said on Friday, January 15, the six NPA members were all residents of Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
Vinluan said they were members of the Platoon West (Samsung), Guerilla Front Musa, Far South Mindanao Region (FSMR).
They surrendered to the 37th Infantry Battalion stationed in Barangay Tibpuan, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat at around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the AFP-WestMinCom said.
Vinluan identified them as Tener Mantang Maquil, alias Buyo-Buyo, a supply officer; Anamie Maquil Bal-ot, alias. Lyn-Lyn, a medic; Allan Mistibo Samblang, alias Caesar; Tyron Asom Saligan; Timbangan Ganang Maquil, alias Kilohan; and Mike Ganang Maquil, alias Arnold.
“They handed over one 7.62mm M14 rifle, two 9mm sub-machine guns, and two Cal. 357 revolvers,” Vinluan said.
During the initial debriefing, the six NPAs said they realized that they were just wasting their lives for nothing. They were also tired of getting involved in armed struggles against the government, and now wanted peace to reign in their hometown, Vinluan.
Lt. Col Allen Van Estrera, commanding officer of the 37th Infantry Batallion (IB), said the surrender of the six Communist terrorists was made possible through the concerted effort of his unit in coordination with the 38th IB and 5th Special Forces Battalion (SFB).
“The surrender of the six NPAs was also attributed to the strong collaboration between the military and the barangay officials of Barangay Tibpuan particularly Mr. Sulpicio Bal-ot, the Barangay Tanod Team Leader,” Estrera said.
Last year, a total of 75 members of GF Musa yielded to the military in central Mindanao.
Meanwhile, 603rd Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Eduardo Gubat said the six were currently undergoing custodial debriefing.
“Nonetheless, we welcome them back to mainstream society and assure that they will be provided with the necessary assistance as they return to the fold of the law,” said Gubat.
For his part, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy commended the troops for their efforts to convince the terrorists to abandon the battleground and rebuild their lives.
“The intensified operations, whether focused combat operations or civil-military operations, continue to bring positive results. Rest assured that we will continue to double our efforts for the peace that we are all longing for,” Uy said.