19 rebels surrender in Negros Oriental

Gilbert Bayoran - The Philippine Star

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Nineteen New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas have surrendered to authorities in Ayungon, Negros Oriental, the Army reported yesterday.

The surrenderees, whose identities were withheld, are corrently undergoing debriefing and assessment for the enhanced-comprehensive local integration program (E-CLIP) of the government at the headquarters of the Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) in Barangay Tambo.

The rebels denounced their affiliation with the communist group and took their oath of allegiance to the government on July 2 before 94IB chief Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte.

They turned over four handguns and ammunition to the military, according to Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade.

The rebels said they were fed up with the false promises of their leaders and confirmed the existence of internal conflict in the communist organization.

Pasaporte said the recent surrender would further reduce the already dwindling force of the communist group.

Meanwhile, in Misamis Oriental, three rebels also surrendered to the military in Gingoog City.

One of the surrenderees, identified as Golden Romania Compas Sr., 42, told soldiers of the 58th IB that he was deceived into joining the armed struggle.

Compas surrendered with the help of his brother, who is also a former rebel.

The two other surrenderees were identified as Neiljan Legaspino, 29, and his wife Ariel, 27, squad leader and medic, respectively of the NPA.

The couple turned over a rifle, improvised explosives devices and ammunition, according to 1/Lt. Claudine Robledo, civil military operations officer of the 402 Infantry Brigade.

In Agusan del Norte, 114 former rebels received financial assistance during a ceremony in Butuan City.

Among the beneficiaries of the E-CLIP were six former rebels who surrendered to the Army’s 29th IB headed by Col. Jason Saldua.

Each beneficiary received P65,000 in livelihood assistance and an additional amount for firearm remuneration from the Department of the Interior and Local Government as well as the provincial government of Agusan del Norte. – Michael Punongbayan, Jose Rodel Clapano

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