Four NPA rebels yield in Panay, Negros

Philippine Army Spearhead Troopers

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Four members of the New People’s Army (NPA)) operating in the islands of Panay and Negros have laid down their arms recently.

The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division identified the surrenderers as couple Ricky dela Cruz, 36, and Cherry Anne Rebanue, 23, both from the Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros Cebu Bohol Siquijor (KR-NCBS); and alias Andrew, 21, and alias Samson, 33, both members of the Squad 2, Baloy Platoon of the Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay’s Centtal Front.

Dela Cruz, who goes by the aliases Yago, Wilcross, Jolan, Gary, Hadji, and Cline, had been with the underground movement for 17 years while Rebanue, who is also known as alias Yassy, Liezel, and Jillian, has been with the group for five years.

Both were political instructors for the KR-NCBS.

Captain Kim Apitong, 3rd ID spokesperson, said dela Cruz and Rebanue yielded after hearing Army-led radio programs.

It was dela Cruz’s brother who helped the couple to surrender through the local government of Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental. Their surrender was facilitated by 11th Infantry Battalion and the PNP in Barangay Napacao, Siaton, Negros Oriental on June 10, 2022.

“They decided to finally go back to the folds of the law after they repeatedly heard the program of the Philippine Army in Radyo Bandera and K3FM hosted by 11IB personnel. Mainly, they were enticed to yield after hearing the NTF-ELCAC’s initiatives and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) for NPA rebels who would want to surrender,” Apitong said.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Samson surrendered to the 82nd Infantry (Bantay-Laya) Battalion.

They also turned over a caliber .38 revolver and a fragmentation hand grenade.

Apitong said the surrender of four rebels could be attributed to 3ID’s intensive and persistent Focused Military Operations (FMO), to include its Information Education Communication (IEC) efforts on TV, Radio, Internet, Media and Print (TRIMP).

Meanwhile, Major General Benedict Arevalo, 3ID commander, said that the Army is working hand in hand with the PNP and the LGUs to ensure the safety of the four NPA members who put their trust once again to the government.

“More rebels are now convinced to surrender due to the increasing awareness of the government’s programs, which is done collaboratively through the NTF- ELCAC. This is one of the indications that the Whole of Government approach is effective,” Arevalo said.