• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Philippine Army reported another setback suffered by the New People’s Army in northern Negros, as 12 of their members yesterday gave up to the Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, and surrendered 12 assorted firearms with ammunition.
The 12 former rebels, including an amazon, were presented on Friday by Lt. Col. Arnel Calaoagan, 79IB commander, to Brig. Gen. Orlando Edralin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, witnessed by representatives of various local government units from the 1st and 2nd district of Negros Occidental, and commanders of the different police units.
Edralin lauded the courage of 12 former rebels, who are among the remnants of the dismantled Northern Negros Front (NNF) of the Komiteng Rehiyonal Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor, for their decision to abandon the armed struggle and live a formal life with their respective families.
The rebels surrendered six caliber .45 pistols, two caliber .38 revolvers, a 9mm Ingram automatic pistol, a KG 9 automatic pistol, a carbine rifle, and a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle.
Through Negros Occidental 1st District Rep. Gerardo Valmayor, each of the 12 former rebels received cash assistance, one sack of rice, and gift packs.
Calaoagan described the surrender of 12 former rebels as an important milestone in the history of 79IB and for the people in northern Negros.
Atty. Charo Tupas Fajardo, City Legal Officer of Escalante City, administered the oath taking of former rebels, who pledged their support to the government.
Last week, six suspected NPA rebels died in an encounter with 47th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Tabugon, Kabankalan City.*