Lt. Co. Lino Capellan, the spokesperson of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12, said Thursday the rebels decided to yield voluntarily along with their firearms after reportedly getting tired of their uncertain cause.
He said the returnees initially signified to surrender last Monday in Sitio Datal Kadi, Barangay Tasiman, Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato.
“They were processed and later received by personnel from the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office through assistance from concerned local officials,” Capellan said in a statement.
It was supported by the PRO-12’s intelligence unit, Philippine National Police intelligence group and Special Action Force, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion.
Capellan said the former rebels comprised three-unit officers, a community teacher, and six members of field units under the NPA’s Guerilla Front 73 (Musa)-Far South Mindanao Region.
They surrendered an improvised M203 grenade launcher loaded with a 40mm rifle grenade, a homemade M16 rifle, three caliber .357 revolvers, a Springfield caliber .45 pistol, a caliber .22 revolver, a homemade single-shot caliber .45 pistol and a homemade single-shot caliber .357 pistol.
Brig. Gen. Michael John Dubria, PRO-12 director, said the latest accomplishment was part of their continuing efforts to address internal insurgency through peaceful means.
He said these were in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s “whole-of-nation” approach, which seeks to “end local community armed conflict” by addressing the needs of local communities through convergence programs.
The official said they have endorsed the inclusion of the surrenderers into the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Under the E-CLIP, the former rebels will receive financial and livelihood assistance, remuneration for the surrendered firearms, and other support packages from various government agencies, he added. (PNA)
By Richelyn Gubalani