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23 NPA rebels from Samar, Bicol yield to cops
PHILIPPINE National Police Officer-in-Charge (PNP-OIC) Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. on Friday announced the surrender of 23 New People’s Army (NPA) fighters to local police authorities in Samar and Bicol provinces this week.
The official said that ten of the NPA members turned themselves over to members of the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (PPO), the Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) Regional Mobile Force Battalion, the Regional Intelligence Unit 8, and the Army’s 8th Infantry Division in Barangay Magsaysay in Lope de Vega municipality last Wednesday morning.
Citing a report from PRO8 Director Brig. Gen. Bernard M. Banac, the top cop said that the ten also surrendered one M1 Garand rifle, one M-16 automatic rifle, three caliber .45 semi-automatic pistols, a cal. .22 pistol and several magazines containing live ammunition to the Eastern Visayas police.
The ten were identified as members of the NPA’s “Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda” under the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)/NPA’s Sub-Regional Committee Emporium.
The eldest of the 10 is a 57-year-old female, while the rest are in their 40s, 30s, and 20s, the youngest of them a 22-year-old male.
The surrendered firearms were placed under the safekeeping of the Northern Samar PPO, while the rebels were turned over to the Army for debriefing and processing of their papers which will allow them to avail of the comprehensive livelihood package being offered by the government for rebel returnees.
On the other hand, the 13 others yielded to police and military officials in Ligao City in Albay also last Wednesday, said Lt. Gen. Danao citing a report from PRO5 Director Brig. Gen. Mario A. Reyes.
The 13 surrendered following talks with officers from the Albay PPO, the PRO5 Regional Mobile Force Battalion, and the Army’s 97th Military Intelligence Company.
They also turned over one M-16 rifle, a cal. .45 pistol with a magazine containing four live ammunition, a cal. 30 Garand rifle, and a cal. .38 revolver to the authorities.
Lt. Gen. Danao welcomed the 23 NPA members to the folds of the law and assured them of their full support to return to the mainstream of society.
“The PNP consistently supports the government’s program through NTF-ELCAC to stop armed conflict in the country and prevent any possible atrocities that this ‘communist terrorist group’ might commit. We welcome the gesture of peace and goodwill of our surrenderees and assure them that we are here to help them rebuild their future as they reintegrate into mainstream society,” the top cop said.