BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A traumatized member of the New People’s Army involved in the series of encounters with Army soldiers in the hinterlands of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, has surrendered to the 94th Infantry Battalion and in the process turned over two M16 assault rifles with 11 magazines containing ammunition.
Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, 94IB commander, disclosed that the former rebel, known only as Ka Jan Jan, was tasked to secure the firearms of eight comrades who were injured in the gun battles with Army soldiers in Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City.
Ka Jan Jan gave himself up to the 94IB on October 19, as the last batch of displaced residents from encounters went home, after being allowed by the Philippine Army, who declared their respective communities cleared.
Almonte disclosed that Ka Jan Jan was separated from their group while escaping from pursuing Army soldiers. Extreme fatigue, hunger and confusion drove Ka Jan Jan to surrender.
Almonte called on the NPA remnants to follow the example of Ka Jan Jan, before it will be too late for them to do so.
Our door is always open, he stressed.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 3rd Infantry Division commander, lauded the boldness of alias Jan-Jan for returning to the folds of the law.*