Military says more NPA members laying down arms

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THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claims it is winning the battle against the communist movement as more members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been voluntarily surrendering.

Nakikita natin na nawalan na ng suporta galing sa masa ang mga rebeldeng grupo na ito kaya sila ay tuluyan nang nagbalik loob sa gobyerno (We see that the rebel groups are losing support, they are returning to the government’s fold),” AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said in a statement.

He cited that last Sept. 26, 16 members of NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, surrendered to the AFP’s 53rd Infantry Battalion in Zamboanga del Sur.

Among them were four women and two child warriors.

On Sunday, three members of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Command surrendered to the local government officials in Davao del Norte.

Mr. Galvez said some of those who surrendered were group leaders, who admitted that they are already tired fighting for their cause.

The former rebels were provided livelihood and cash benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.

“It is not too late for you (NPAs) to surrender and leave your current miseries from fighting a useless cause.” Mr. Galvez said.

Last month, AFP proposed to President Rodrigo R. Duterte the creation of a multi-agency national task force that will address the five-decade communist insurgency in the country. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras