PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan – Five members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered in Palawan on March 29, the day their comrades were celebrating the armed guerrilla struggle’s 49th founding anniversary.
“We are glad that these five NPA members had decided to surrender and return to the fold of the law. Their surrender is another serious blow to the ranks of communist-terrorism in the province of Palawan,” Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Western Command (Wescom) in Palawan, said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.
Briguez did not name the five rebels for fear they would be punished by their comrades, but noted they also yielded their firearms to the Marine Battalion Landing Team 12 (MBLT-12) under Wescom’s Joint Task Group North.
The surrenderers are now in the custody of the military for validation and documentation, a required process before they could qualify for assistance under the provincial government’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
The LSIP and the CLIP are amnesty programs offered to rebel returnees as part of the government’s commitment to pursue peace and development amid the stalled peace talks with the communists.
“Their surrender is a clear indicator of their unwillingness to continue with the armed struggle. According to them, their rank is tainted with the corruption of their leaders, fatigue, and disappointments due to unfulfilled promises,” the general added.