2 Reds yield amid relief ops for NoCot quake victims

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KIDAPAWAN CITY — At the height of relief operations for quake victims in North Cotabato, two combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion in Matalam town on Thursday morning.

The two, whose identities were withheld for security reasons, told the Army they decided to yield to follow the footsteps of their comrades who earlier surrendered and availed of the government’s reintegration and livelihood assistance.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, welcomed the decision of the two surrenderers from the NPA Guerilla Front (GF) 53 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee of the National Democratic Front (SMRC-NDF).

Carreon said the surrenderers wanted to “live normal lives again.”

He said the two decided to escape when Ka Joel, the leader of NPA GF 53, directed them to go to the lowlands to collect revolutionary taxes despite the crisis the quake victims have been facing.

“The two were formerly assigned to collect revolutionary taxes from the towns of Matalam, Pres. Roxas, Magpet, and Arakan,” Carreon said.

The surrenderers also yielded two .357-caliber pistols with ammunition, he added.

Following their surrender, the two promised to help the government convince their comrades who are still up in the mountains to come down and rejoin the mainstream society.

The Communist Party of the Philippines – NPA – NDF is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. PNA

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