NPA members surrender in Iloilo

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Five members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to military and police authorities in Iloilo.

Three of them turned themselves in at the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry (Hunter) Battalion at Camp Monteclaro, Barangay Igtuba, Miagao, Iloilo on April 13, with two more following on April 15.

The first group, identified by their aliases Honda, vice squad leader of Squad SM of the Puregold Platoon of the Southern Front, Ateng, leader of Puregold’s Squad Robinson, and Pielte, political guide of the same squad, cited the hardship of the movement as their reason for surrendering.

They spoke of enduring frequent hunger, fatigue, and the constant fear of being killed in combat operations.

Their surrender was facilitated smoothly through the efforts of the 61st IB’s Local Peace Engagement (LPE) team and the local government of Tubungan under Mayor Roquito Tacsagon.

Two days later, in Sitio Sunugan, Barangay Teniente Benito, Tubungan, two more rebels identified as alias Rico, 29, a squad leader, and his live-in partner alias MayMay, 25, a political guide of Squad Robinson of the Napoleon Tumagtang Command, surrendered. They had been operating in the towns of Tubungan and Leon.

The Tubungan Municipal Police Station, the 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company, the 61st IB, and the Tubungan local government unit facilitated their surrender.

Major General Marion Sison, commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, emphasized the importance of the remaining NPA members surrendering promptly. He pointed out the Army’s dedication to peace and stability within its area of responsibility under the Stable Internal Peace and Security (SIPS) strategy.

“To those still trapped in the NPA’s lies, reconciliation opportunities are available. We are prepared to aid your transition to a peaceful life with initiatives like the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). It’s never too late to choose peace and return to your families,” Sison declared.