Two members of the New People’s Army surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 8th Infantry “Dependable” Battalion (8thIB) on Easter Sunday at its headquarters here in Impasugong, Bukidnon.
Col. Antonio I. Bautista Jr, 8thIB commander, said the NPA rebels—both from the province of Bukidnon—yielded on the eve of 16 April 2017 and laid down their four (4) assorted firearms including rounds of ammunitions.
“The NPA rebels are now losing steam and its members felt it. They said they are growing tired of following the NPA ideology and hanging on its empty promises, which had been encrypted onto their minds. The surrendering rebels want to live a better and peaceful life. They also decided to surrender because of physical exhaustion due to starvation in the mountains as they keep on running away from the government security forces,” Col. Bautista said.
He explained that the two returnees are set to participate in the unit’s “Arm to Farm” program, which is a ‘halfway house’ for former rebels seeking better life after armed struggle. They would be working in the farm for their initial subsistence.
The 8thIB Commander reassured the communities that despite holidays, the Philippine Army is serious in the performance of duty by working to keep threats away and uphold the nation’s peace and order.
“I am calling other members of the communist group to cooperate with the government because while we are mandated to go after armed groups, we never get tired of helping those who saw a brighter path seeking a better future. We are focusing all our efforts to achieve one goal and that is to provide the Filipino people just and lasting peace,” he said. (Erwin P. Bugarin, CMO, 8IB, 4ID, PA /PIA10-Bukidnon)