17 rebels operating in Kitanglad, Kalatungan ranges surrender in Bukidnon
Seventeen combatants of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the Kitanglad and Kalatungan mountain ranges have voluntarily surrendered to the 1st Special Forces Battalion (1SFB), Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) of the Philippine Army on May 1, according to a high ranking military officer.
1SFB Commander Lt. Col. Vercisio G. San Jose said the 17 rebels were members of the Guerrilla Front (GF) 68A and GF 68B of Sub-Regional Command (SRC), North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) of the NPA.
He disclosed this information in a press conference held at the Function Hall inside his camp in Brgy. Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon on May 4.
“GF 68A is operating in Mt. Kitanglad area while GF 68B is operating in Mt. Kalatungan area. Most of them were ranking officials in their organization,” Lt. Col. San Jose said.
He said the surrender of the 17 NPA combatants aged 20 to 30 is the result of the series of encounters with his unit in the previous weeks, starvation, and loss of confidence in the top leadership of the NPA.
“Prior to their surrender on May 1, some of their relatives, barangay and local government officials contacted us regarding their intention to surrender,” Lt. Col. San Jose said.
On the same day, each of the 17 formers rebels received P25,000 immediate assistance from the Provincial Government of Bukidnon.
In addition to the financial assistance, each of them also received a sack of rice, two boxes of family food packs, one box of hygiene, kitchen and sleeping kits. (With a report from Bukidnon Online special correspondent Mel B. Madera)