Rebels surrender in Iloilo, Lanao Sur
Jennifer Rendon (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2019 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The New People’s Army (NPA) suffered another blow after 37 members of the Militia ng Bayan and 23 supporters abandoned the rebel group.

They surrendered on Feb. 15 and 16 to the Army’s Community Support teams.

According to 1Lt. Hazel Joy Durotan, spokesperson for the Armys 61st Infantry Battalion (IB), those who surrendered are residents of Barangays Carataya, San Antonio and Mahunod-Hunod in Cuartero, Capiz – considered to be insurgency-influenced barangays.

“They took their oath of allegiance to the government after they decided to renounce and withdraw their support from the NPA,” Durotan said.

Meanwhile, a sub-leader of the Islamic State-inspired Maute group surrendered to the military on Tuesday in Lanao del Sur, according to security officials.

Aloyodan Bantak, alias Ibrahim Bantak, surrendered to the 49th IB under Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva in Lumba Bayabao town at around 10 a.m.

Bantak also surrendered a rifle, two grenade launcher magazines and ammunition.

Bantak was the recruiter of the group of Owaida Marohombsar, alias Abu Dar, according to Villanueva.

Bantak reportedly participated in the November 2016 siege in Butig town where the Maute group took over the municipal hall. – With Roel Pareño, Michael Punongbayan, Jaime Laude

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