PIA: 8 ‘communist rebels’ surrender in Nueva Ecija
Eight rebels “voluntarily surrendered” to security forces in Nueva Ecija on Friday after a series of localized peace negotiations, according to the Philippine Army.
The group consist of five regular New People’s Army members and three members of the Militia ng Bayan from different communist terrorist groups operating in Central and Southern Luzon, the Philippine Information Agency said.
Army 7th Infantry Division Commander Major General Alfredo Rosario Jr. disclosed that the surrendering rebels turned-over an M14 rifle with three magazines and 30 rounds of live ammunition, a M16 rifle with one magazine and nine rounds of live ammunition, and three caliber .38 pistols.
The names of the returnees are being withheld as part of the security protocol being implemented to prevent possible retaliation that may be launched by their former comrades against them for turning their backs from the movement, the report 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 returnees will undergo debriefing and profiling as part of the enrollment process to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, which will entitle them to receive immediate cash assistance, livelihood assistance and firearms remuneration for their surrendered firearms,” the official added.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Northern Luzon Command Commander Lieutenant General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. lauded the returnees 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.”
“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,” Burgos said.
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