Two alleged members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to government forces.
Philippine Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade in Butuan City identified the two surrenderees as BJ, 22, and Boyka, 35 (not their real names).
“They are said to be members of the Sentro De Gravidad 16 (SDG16), Guerilla Front Committee 16 (GFC16) of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines)-NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC),” Lt. Col. Isagani Criste, commander of 29th Infantry Battalion (IB).
The said group has claimed responsibility for numerous atrocities in the Agusan provinces over the past years.
The duo surrendered to the 29th IB in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte and brought with them one M4A1 rifle, one shotgun, two anti-personnel mines and subversive documents, including extortion letters and list of NPA contacts and supporters, Criste said.
The military, quoting BJ, said he surrendered out of fatigue and fear for his life due to the intense operations being conducted by the government troops.
“Gikapoy na kug dagan ug tago sa bukid tungod sa maling prinsipyo at pagtuo ng mga NPA. Abe ko sa una sakto sila pero dili diay. Gusto na kug malinawun akung pagpuyo. Gustu na ku mag bag-o sa akung kinabuhi,” BJ said.
Criste said that from January to date, the 29th IB has received six surrenderees from different towns. The former NPA members also handed over assorted firearms, war paraphernalia and communist-terrorist documents.
The surrenderees are being debriefed as part of their enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (E-CLIP). Should they qualify, they would become recipients of assorted livelihood and financial assistance from national and local government agencies. E-CLIP provides up to P65,000 cash assistance, free education and free housing for eligible recipients.