Friday, January 10, 2014
Quezon City – Three members of the communist rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered to troops of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion today in Bansalan, Davao del Sur bringing along three high-powered firearms.
The surrenderees were active members of the NPA’s Front 51, SMRC operating in the areas of Davao del Sur and Makilala, North Cotabato. They brought along one M14 rifle and two M16 rifles.
They are now undergoing custodial debriefing at the 39IB headquarters in Brgy. Tuban, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur while the recovered firearms are taken for proper disposition. The former rebels requested that the AFP withhold their identities to the public for fear of retaliation by their former comrades in the NPA.
On the other hand, the military sees the surrender as an act of progress knowing that not all members of the NPAs believe in their leaders’ hard-line stance on armed violence as means to achieve their goals.
Their reasons for joining the Communist movement might have been legitimate ones but after almost two decades of armed struggle, they have not realized that joining a group which causes only violence against our people isn't the answer.
On its part, the AFP reiterates its call to the NPAs who were misled to the violent path, to surrender and give peace a chance and totally abandon the armed struggle. In this way, more innocent civilians will be spared from their unlawful activities which hamper our government’s ongoing efforts towards progress and development for our nation.
Moreover, the military condemns the NPAs for their continued recruitment of individuals who instead of participating in violent activities could have been contributing in the formation of a peaceful and prosperous society.
The rebels recently declared that it will push for violence as they plan to conduct more offensives and recruit 25,000 NPAs this year. In spite of this, the AFP will continue to conduct focused military operations in its effort to uphold the primacy of the peace process.
While the NPA continues to find solutions through violence, the AFP on the other hand will continue to find solutions through peace. This year, the AFP is all-out for peace and development especially in NPA-influenced areas. The AFP will strengthen its support to the government’s undertakings that will address the root causes of insurgency and will bring the decades of armed struggle to a responsible end.
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