TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Six members of the rebel New People’s Army surrendered to military and police in Cagayan and Isabela.
Among those who surrendered are three Militia ng Bayan (MB) members and a 48-year old NPA courier.
Two of the MB surrenderers, Charles Pinapin and Meliton Tapaoan, are barangay tanods, police said in a report. Others were identified as Edwin Balawag and Felipe Villanueva.
The surrender is the highlight of the government’s “Grand Pulung-Pulong and Signing of Memorandum of Agreement” in Santo Niño, Cagayan on Saturday, April 14.
Police said in a press release that the surrender is a result of the intensified negotiation of the police, military troops, and barangay officials of Balanni, Sto Niño, Cagayan.
Cagayan Provincial Mobile Force Company Force Commander Police Superintendent Mario Malana and 17th Infantry Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Camilo Saddam attended the MOA signing with the agenda “Project Inter-Agency’s Sustainable Community Involvement Towards Welfare and Development (ISCWAD).”
In a report, two homemade gauge 12 shotguns were also surrendered by the said rebels who are now under the custody of the Philippine Army.
Meanwhile, on Monday, April 16, a member and medical officer of the communist group’s Central Front Unit Command surrendered through the Provincial Government of Isabela. The surrenderer, Ansong Esteban, is from San Mariano, Isabela.
On Thursday, April 19, another NPA member from Barangay Minanga, San Mariano, Isabela surrendered to the Regional Intelligence Division.
Police said Jesus Bautista was a squad leader of Platoon Uno of the Central Front.
The two are now in the custody of the provincial government.
Cagayan Valley Police Director Chief Superintendent Jose Mario Espino noted that the government is “sincere in its offer of peace” to the “terrorist” organization.
In a press release, Espino reiterated his call to the rebels “to lay down their arms and return to the government’s fold and live peacefully with their families and friends.”
“We will ensure your safety and well-being when you lay down your arms,” Espino added. Northernforum.net