By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – Eleven alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the authorities in Negros island from Dec. 20 to 23.
Most of the rebel returnees were reported in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Ten of them were members of Central Negros Front 1 (CN1), Komiteng Rehiyon – Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS), based on the report of the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB).
They also turned over an M16 A1 rifle, a COLT M203 40mm grenade launcher, two .45 caliber pistols, and a .357 Magnum revolver pistol.
According to the Army, the series of surrenders of these former NPA rebels was a result of the sustained Focused Military Operations (FMO) and Joint Enhanced Military Police Operations (JEMPO) against the NPA, and the continued information awareness and dissemination against insurgency.
Mayor Filomeno Reyes, in a statement, said the rebel returnees realized that they were deceived into joining the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA.
“This false propaganda has been proliferated far too long. Come back to the fold of the law and work with the government to provide a better life for all,” the mayor added.
Meanwhile, a 22-year-old alleged NPA member, also surrendered to the police in Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental on Dec. 23 as an answer to the call of the government for NPA rebels to return to the fold of the law.
However, police served him an arrest warrant for attempted murder issued by Judge Rodney Magbanua of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 61 in Kabankalan City, with a recommended bail of P120,000.
Army discovers abandoned NPA encampment
Meanwhile, the 94th IB discovered an abandoned encampment while they were conducting security patrol at Sitio Tara, Barangay Tan-awan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on Dec. 20.
The said encampment was estimated to be abandoned for about two to three hours before the military troopers arrived, based on the tracks of shoes and boots.
It can accommodate at least 20 persons and is surrounded by foxholes and barricades.
Seized from the area were a pair of boots, a hammock, a backpack containing subversive documents, and some personal belongings.
Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), said the NPA is on the run after suffering setbacks in their leadership in the past months following the death of some of their leaders in Negros island.
Pasaporte said the death of Jose Maria Sison, CPP founder, will have a profound effect on the direction and morale of the NPA to continue their “useless” armed struggle.