3 rebels surrender in Davao del Sur
By Ruth Palo / The Manila Times
DAVAO CITY: Three members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) surrendered to government forces in Davao del Sur on Thursday.
Civil military operations officer for the Philippine Army's 39th Infantry Battalion 2nd Lt. Sharmaine de la Rosa said the rebel returnees were believed to be remnants of the NPA's Guerilla Front Alip, Far South Mindanao Regional Committee operating in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.
The surrenderers are identified only through their aliases as Boyet, 55; Bongcayaw, 51; and Sonny Boy, 32. They are all residents of Purok 6, Barangay San Miguel, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.
De la Rosa said the three submitted themselves to the Magsaysay Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. They also turned over to the military one homemade carbine, one homemade caliber 45 pistol, two homemade UZI pistols, one homemade 12-gauge shotgun, two hand grenades, five magazines, four 9mm ammunitions, two 12-gauge ammunition and one 30mm ammunition.
The surrender of the three rebels was facilitated by the local government of Magsaysay in coordination with the 39th Infantry Battalion, 1002nd Brigade and 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.
During the initial debriefing, the three disclosed that they surrendered due to the collapse of mass-based support for the NPA. They were also pressured by the barangay (village) visitation of the community development teams, the continuous conduct of the community support programs and the unending government interventions in the area.
Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, commander of 39th IB, expressed his appreciation for the intervention of different agencies in enticing rebels to surrender.
"These interventions render their (rebels) propaganda irrelevant that led to the collapse of their mass base and we hope that this will lead to the surrender of the remnants of the armed group," Balagtey said
The three surrenderers will be assisted by government troops and other government agencies to avail the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program before they will be integrated back into mainstream society.