‘Rebel’ involved in Himamaylan clashes surrenders

An alleged rebel, who was reportedly involved in a series of armed encounters in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, surrenders to Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte (left), 303rd IBde commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Van Donald Almonte (right), 94th IB commander Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of 303rd IBde)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Two weeks after the series of armed encounters in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, an alleged member of the New People’s Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) last Wednesday.

He also turned over two M16A1 rifles with ammunition and magazines to the Army during his surrender.

The rebel returnee, whose name was withheld for security reasons, was allegedly involved in the series of clashes in the village from Oct. 6 to 12 that displaced thousands of residents.

According to the Army, the former rebel reportedly carried the firearms of his eight wounded comrades during the encounters.

He saw an opportunity to escape from his group when they got separated while evading the military troopers.

Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IBde), assured that the Philippine Army and the local government units (LGUs) are very much willing to assist NPA members who are sincere to abandon the armed struggle.

Pasaporte lauded the former rebel for making the right decision in abandoning the NPA group and taking the opportunity being offered by the government especially the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

Meanwhile, Major General Benedict Arevalo, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID), lauded the boldness of the former rebel for returning to the folds of the law despite the promises of the organization to him.

“I am glad about his initiative to surrender,” Arevalo said in a statement.

With his surrender, Arevalo is hoping that more NPA members will return to the folds of the law after realizing that joining their organization will not solve their problems but only destroy their dreams and hopes for their families.