CEBU CITY – At least 25 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered as a result of the non-stop localized peace engagement of government forces in Negros Oriental, the Visayas Command (Viscom) said.
Called as “friends rescued,” the surrenderers included five members of the Milisya ng Bayan and 20 regular NPA members who were present during the “Presentation of Surrenders and Handover of Firearms Ceremony” at the City Hall of Himamaylan City.
“They are remnants of the NPA’s weakened guerilla front, Central Negros 2 (CN2), under the Komiteng Rehiyon Negros, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor (KR NCBS). They yielded to the government troops following the persistent efforts of the troops of the 94th Infantry Battalion of the Army's 303rd Infantry Brigade under Joint Task Force Spear (JTF Spear) and the PNP in Barangay Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental,” Viscom said in a statement.
The FRs yielded eight firearms, consisting of six shotguns and two .38 revolvers with several live ammunition.
Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade commended the FRs for deciding to return to the fold of the law.
“The integration of these 25 individuals into mainstream society symbolizes their commitment to leave behind a life of conflict and embrace a future of peace and prosperity. This is a testament to the power of localized peace engagements, wherein initiatives are driven by and for the people of Negros Island, as these also signify our determination to build a peaceful and progressive society, free from the grip of armed violence,” said Edralin.
Lt. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, commander of Viscom, lauded troops for their unceasing efforts in the implementation of various peace initiatives in Negros Island.
“This is the product of our commitment and dedication to curb the insurgency in the region. This influx of surrenders from the ranks of the CPP-NPA delivered a substantial blow that will further weaken the terrorist group,” said Arevalo.