CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Two (2) Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) voluntary surrendered to the troops of the 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion, a unit operationally controlled by the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division in Surigao del Sur.
Joy, 18, a resident of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur and an active medic of Platoon 1, Guerilla Front 14, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) surrendered last April 17 and brought with her (1) Cal. 30 M1 Carbine Rifle, (1) Shotgun and medical supplies.
According to Joy, she decided to surrender after hearing the arrest of her party boyfriend, Robert Tejero Calipay Alyas Satur/Arpak, Commander of Platoon 2, GF14 last April 14, 2019 by the troops of the 75th Infantry Battalion. “After my boyfriend’s arrest, I realized that I am fighting for a useless cause. I want to live a peaceful and normal life with him without hiding in the mountains”, Joy added.
The female rebel returnee also revealed that she was only 16 years old when she was recruited, a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
The day after, another NPA member in the person of Rosman, 18, a resident of Lianga, Surigao del Sur and a member of Squad 3, SRSDG Southland, NEMRC, also surrendered to the 3rd SF Battalion. He brought with him (1) cal. 5.56mm M16 Rifle.
“With the non-stop operations of the Army in the mountains, I am so afraid and realized that I don’t want to live all my life like this. Then I had the chance that is why I am very grateful that the Special Forces troops helped me and facilitated my surrender”, Rosman said.
Lt. Col. Joey B Baybayan, Commander 3SF Battalion said, “The relentless Focused Military Operations (FMOs) yielded surrenderees in Surigao del Sur as more NPA members become weary and tired of fighting a useless struggle”. “The 3SFBn will process their inclusion as beneficiaries of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in order for them to receive Financial Assistance and renumeration in return of the surrendered firearms.
BGen Andres C Centino, Commander 401st Infantry Brigade said, “The surrender of @Joy and @Rosman is a clear manifestation that our local peace talks are affective. The CNTs are realizing that they are already losing the support of the people sans successive declaration of LGUs with the CNTs as persona non-grata. We expect more surrenders in the coming days”.
Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander 4th ID emphasized, “We are gladly accepting the right decisions of the members of the CNTs. In lieu of our “Peaceful War”, we assure those who are still in doubt that we will help you live a normal and peaceful life away from the wrong and useless cause of the CNTs”, Gacal ended.