TUGUEGARAO CITY: Seven members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to government forces, according to a report from the Northern Luzon Command (NolCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines released on Thursday.
Maj. Israel Galorio, NolCom public information office chief, said the NPA rebels narrated they are tired and weary from fighting the government forces, and also surrendered high-powered firearms such as five M16 rifles, an M653 rifle and an M14 rifle. They also yielded other war materiel.
“The rebels are already tired and weary of fighting the government forces who are relentless in their focused military operations,” Galorio said.
Galorio said 633 NPA rebels have already surrendered in Northern and Central Luzon and turned over 259 firearms since Jan. 1, 2021.
“These are apart from the 780 party members of the different NPA-affiliated mass organizations who withdrew their support from the terrorist group,” Galorio added.
Based in Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu town in Isabela province, Maj. Gen. Laurence Mina, Army’s Fifth Infantry Division commander, said government forces will be relentless in performing various military operations and community support programs to encourage more rebels to give up their armed struggle.
“We will not rest until this decades-long security problem is concluded,” Mina said.
NolCom chief Lt. Gen.Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. lauded the troops responsible for the recent accomplishment, saying their recent feat is a clear indication of their efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of their mandate to win peace and end NPA atrocities in Northern Luzon.
Burgos noted with a rate of three NPA rebels returning to the government fold with a firearm every day, the NPA’s complete decimation in Northern Luzon is within reach.
“We will continue with our relentless operations and community support activities to sustain our gains to liberate our people in this part of the country from this decades-long menace,” he said.
Galorio said the seven surrenderers will be assisted by government troops and other government agencies to avail the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program before bringing them back into mainstream society.