Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., expressed belief that the continued surrender of members of the Communist New Peoples Army Terrorist Group (CNTG) will continue to weaken them.
Madrigal made the remark after the 22 dismayed ranking members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) from Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Bukidnon provinces surrendered to the Armys 4th Infantry Division (4th ID).
They once again lost members who finally understood that they are not fighting for the Filipino people, but for their selfish leaders who use them to extort money and demonize the government, Happy Anniversary indeed to the Communist Party of the Philippines, Madrigal said in a statement.
Joint operatives of 75th Infantry (Marauder) Battalion (75th IB) under the command of Lt. Col. Jaime R. Datuin and 26th Infantry Battalion (26th IB) under Lt. Col. Romeo Jimenea initially facilitated the return of 19 CPP-NPAs to the government at around 10 p.m. Tuesday night in Loreto, Agusan Del Sur, said Capt. Rodolfo S. Cordero, Jr., Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 401st Brigade.
The heavily armed members of the CPP-NPA GF3 voluntarily gave up themselves to the Armys 75th IB and 26th IB and were officially presented on Wednesday to top officials of the 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division and 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade during surrender rites at Camp Datu Lipus Makapandong here on Wednesday.
The entire force of the GF3 has vowed to help the AFPs peace and development program.
The said NPA unit was headed by Commander Aka Boss (name temporarily withheld), the commanding officer of GF3.
Aka Boss brought with him his sub-unit commander aka SK (name withheld), commanding officer of Platoon Basil and Aka Sniper, commanding officer of Platoon Andoy.
The surrenderees brought with them a total of 14 firearms, nine of which were high powered and five low powered. They also surrendered several magazines, 3 commercial icom radios and more than 1,300 assorted live ammunitions.
Some of the surrendered firearms were 3 M16 Armalite rifles, 3 M16 Bushmaster rifles, 1 M653 rifle w/ scope, 1 M14 rifle, 1 M203 Grenade Launcher, 1 Carbine rifle, 3 Caliber .45 Colt, 1 Caliber .38 pistol, 1 hand grenade and 1 rifle grenade.
The surrender of almost the entire GF3 in time for the CPP anniversary shows that more NPA members are now heeding the call of the government for peace, Brig. Gen. Andres C. Centino, commanding general of the 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade said.
This is also based on the revelation of the CO of GF3 himself who said, they returned to the folds of the government because they wanted to live with their families in peace, he said.
The 401st Brigade commander told the surrenderees that they will be supported by the government in their new way of life.
You will be given livelihood and financial support by the government under the Comprehensive Local Integration program or E-CLIP, Brig. Gen. Centino said, adding They (former rebels) will also be given immediate cash assistance, in exchange for their surrendered firearms.
The surrenderers are now undergoing custodial debriefing and processing.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Armys Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) welcomes the surrender of the entire GF3 in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur.
We welcome their surrender, its the best decision they have made for themselves and their families, he said, as he assured the surrenderees to be immediately enrolled in the E-CLIP for their benefits.
I am calling on the remaining terrorist NPA members to return to the folds of the law while you still have your chance, your family is waiting for you. The senseless ideology of the CPP-NPA will not solve your problem, let us work together to end insurgency and live a peaceful and meaningful life before 2019 comes, added Maj. Gen. Villanueva, also acting chief of the AFPs Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMincom).