SENATOR NINOY AQUINO, Sultan Kudarat---Eleven members of the New People's Army surrendered to the Philippine Army in Midtungok village last Friday, May 19 at 10:00am.
1st Lt John Austin Jamora, the Commanding Officer of the Alpha Company, 33rd Infantry (Makabayan) Battalion, said that the surrenderors handed over 8 highpowered rifles, including 5 M16 rifles, 2 M1 Garand Rifles, and 1 AK 47 Rifle.
He said that all of the surrenderors are Manobo tribe residents of the hinterland village of Midtungok. Among them are: Ayob Mopac, Benjamin Kalay, Samuel Badak, Mel Pandi, Kang Mopac, Tiin Mooac, Usad Mopac, Long Oding, Sebio Masandag, Gabriel Mopac, and Nonoy Lapi.
Col Bismarck Soliba, the Commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said that the NPA in Sultan Kudarat is losing members due to demoralization in the ranks.
"The lumads are disgruntled over the unfulfilled promises of the NPA leaders. The members are dying in the encounters but the 'Supamil' (family support) for their followers was not provided," he said.
MGen Arnel Dela Vega, the Commander of the 6th Infantry Division has commended the units who are involved in the surrender negotiations.
"This is a combined effort of the 33rd Infantry Battalion and the 57th Infantry Battalion under Ltc Enrique Clemente. The surrender of NPA members reflect the waning influence of the communist movement in the countryside," said Dela Vega.
"I am glad that these rebels have realized the futility of the armed struggle. Mayor Randy Ecija Jr of Sen Ninoy Aquino town has shown to them that the LGU is ready to address the social issues in their town," he added.