By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least eight members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have yielded to government forces last Sunday, November 8, in Barangay Poblacion in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
Authorities said the group consists of one regular member of the NPA and seven people belonging to the rebel movement’s “Yunit Militia.”
All of the insurgents belong to the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, as well as the Leonardo Panaligan Command based in Central Negros.
The eight yielded to Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes and to the Guihulngan City Local Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (GCLTF-ELCAC).
They also surrendered their firearms consisting of two .38 caliber revolvers, two .357 caliber revolvers, and assorted ammunition.
Reyes said records from August to November of this year show an increasing number of surrendering insurgents.
Reyes said they have a total of 42 surrenderees, eight of whom are regular NPA members, nine belonging to the Yunit Militia and 25 supporters. At least seven firearms were also surrendered to the authorities.
Earlier, the army suspects the reason for the mass surrenders in Negros was probably due to the hardships encountered by the insurgents in the mountains brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
62nd Infantry Battalion commander, Lt. Colonel Melvin Flores, said the return of the communist terrorist rebels to the folds of the law is the outcome of a right information provided to the populace and collaborative effort among the GCLTF-ELCAC.
Flores said the eight surrenderees will be able to avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Programwhich entitle them financial and livelihood assistance from the government./DGB, WDJ