Agusan Sur insurgents surrender

The Philippine Army announced that it has once again neutralized a communist terrorist group operating in Agusan del Sur.

The PA’s 26th Infantry Battalion on Tuesday said a high-ranking official of the New People’s Army and five other communist members surrender to the government forces due to scarcity of food in the combat areas, longing for their families, fear for their lives as well as lack of support from their former mass bases and higher units.

The PA’s relentless conduct of its focused military operations, as well as strengthened partnership with the IP leaders, former communist rebels, and the local government units, has in a new batch of surrenderees, according to 26IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Sandy Majarocon.

The NPA members operating for NPA Platoon Banglas, Sub-Regional Committee 3, NCMRC also surrendered high-powered and low-powered firearms consisting of an M16 rifle, Garand rifles, shotgun, and cal.45 pistols with magazines and live ammunition.

NPA leader Badong Gumansel Lipanda, alias “Reymund,” said their decision to surrender to the security forces has opened new opportunities for them to start afresh.

He added that the lack of community support has weakened the armed revolution.

“People won’t believe us anymore, we are having a hard time convincing them. They don’t want conflict anymore,” he said in Bisaya dialect.

Majarocon said the recent batch of surrenderees has collapsed another NPA unit that “has been conducting atrocities and exploitation in the hinter areas of the municipalities of San Luis, Esperanza, and Talacogon of this province since 2010.”

The six rebel returnees are now undergoing medical check-ups, assessments, documentation, and counseling in preparation for their enrollment in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

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