ARMED MEMBERS of the communist movement, including 29 from the New People’s Army (NPA) and 14 from its allied Militia ng Bayan, surrendered this month, according to the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom). As of Jan. 27, among those who turned themselves in to military units or local government offices and laid down their arms were mostly from the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Bukidnon. Some of those who surrendered were as young as 16 years old. Maj. Gen. Filemon T. Santos, Jr., EastMinCom commander, said they are optimistic that more will follow suit in the coming days. “The surrender of our brothers will surely create an impact on the peace and security situation in the region as it will contribute to the collapse of the (communist) organization,” he said in a statement. “Our effort together with other agencies of government, the different local government units of addressing the root cause of insurgency will continue and expand, more so with the institutionalization of ‘Whole of Nation Approach’ through EO (Executive Order) 70 and Expanded Comprehensive Local Integration Program,” Mr. Santos said.