GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Two more “disgruntled” New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered to government troops in South Cotabato following a series of negotiations, an official said on Friday.
Lt. Col. Randy Banaag, commanding officer of the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion, said the rebels mainly decided to yield voluntarily along with their firearms after getting disillusioned with their situation.
He said the two initially signified to formally surrender last Tuesday and were eventually received by their troops in Sitio Traan Kini, Barangay Lamlahak in Lake Sebu town.
The surrenderers are formerly under the NPA’s Platoon Central, Guerrilla Front 73-Musa of Far South Mindanao Region that operates in the hinterlands of Lake Sebu and the neighboring municipalities, he said.
They surrendered two high-powered firearms — a Colt M16A1 5.56mm rifle and a Bushmaster M16A1 5.56mm rifle.
The Army official said the two were convinced to surrender after seeing the significant changes brought by government initiatives in their areas in the past several years.
“That renewed their trust in the government and eventually led them to turn their backs from the communist armed struggle,” he said in a statement.
A report by the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) quoted the returnees as saying they were “made to believe in their (NPA) lies. They told us that we were recruited because they are winning the revolution and that the movement will eventually give better lives to our families.”
“While we are inside the movement, we found out that their promises made by our former leaders were all lies,” they said.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th ID commander and head of the Joint Task Force Central, said more NPA rebels have grown tired of lies of their leaders and the movement.
“They are going back because they trust the program of the government. They are experiencing hardship in the hinterlands of South Cotabato, hence they come back to the folds of law to live peacefully with their families,” he said. (PNA)