8 rebels surrender in N. Ecija

8 rebels surrender in N. Ecija

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac – Eight members of the communist terrorist groups (CTGs) voluntarily surrendered to authorities following localized peace negotiations in Nueva Ecija on Friday.

The surrenderers were five regular members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and three members of the Militia ng Bayan operating in Central and Southern Luzon.

The rebels also yielded an M14 rifle with three magazines and 30 rounds of live ammunition, an M16 rifle with a magazine and nine rounds of live ammunition, and three ca. .38 pistols.

The Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) said the names of the surrenderers are being withheld as part of the security protocol to prevent possible retaliation by their former comrades against them for turning their backs from the communist terrorist movement.

Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., Nolcom commander, lauded the surrenderers “for choosing the path of peace instead of conflict and for responding to the call of the government for social healing and reconciliation in order to attain peace in this part of the country.”

He said more members of the communist terrorists in Central and Northern Luzon are expected to abandon their armed struggle and return to the folds of the law due to loss of trust in their leaders and after witnessing the sincere gesture of the government to deliver basic services and address local issues in their community.

He called on the few remaining members of the communist terrorists in Central and Northern Luzon to surrender and live peacefully with their families.

“You have seen the harsh reality of being part of the terrorist group, now is the time for you to heed the call of the government to abandon your armed struggle and return to the folds of the law. We assure you of your safety as the government opens its doors for you to have a peaceful and progressive life with your loved ones,” Burgos said in a statement.

Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., commander of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division, said “this accomplishment is a result of a series of localized peace negotiations which soldiers and police have undertaken to encourage members of the communist terrorists, who are victims of the deception and lies of the communist terrorist group, to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.”

Rosario said the surrenderers will undergo debriefing and profiling as part of the enrolment to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), which will entitle them to receive immediate cash and livelihood assistance, and remuneration for their surrendered firearms.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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