NPA political instructor, 8 others surrender in Sultan Kudarat

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ISULAN , SULTAN KUDARAT– – – Nine communist New People’s Army (NPA), including a political instructor, have surrendered to government authorities in the province of Sultan Kudarat, military officials announced Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said, they surrendered Monday in Barangay Kalawag II, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

Vinluan said the NPA political instructor is identified as Teting Dakias Lonon, 49, who carries the aliases of Ka Tingting, Tekboy and Boyet, a resident of Sitio Tepayen, Barangay Kesek, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Vinluan said that Lonon was a political instructor of the Sub-Regional Committee Daguma of the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Party Committee under an NPA leader who carries the aliases of Ka Bobo, Ampog, and Aldok.

Lonon revealed that he was recruited sometime in 2014 by Gatosan Kindat and has participated in the bombardments by the group in the Sultan Kudarat area, according to Vinluan.

He said that Lonon decided to surrender to clear his name and to return to the folds of the law.

He added that all the other NPA surrenderees belong to the NPA’s Far South Mindanao Regional Party Committee.

Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade said, the NPA surrenderees claimed that they were made to believe that once they join the group, their families will be provided with scholarship grants, free medicine and medical services, and livelihood programs.

Galido said that none of those were realized, instead, their participation to the NPA had brought more suffering to them and their community.

The NPA surrenderees have yielded three caliber .30 M1 Garand rifles, one M-14 Springfield rifle and one M-79 Grenade Launcher.

“We urge the surrendered personalities to take part in addressing the problems that haunt their tribal communities and actively participate in the peace campaign of the military to resist the deceitful propaganda of the insurgents,” Galido said.

The NPA surrenderees are currently undergoing custodial debriefing at 7th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Barangay Kalawag II, Isulan.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Central, said that they continuously conduct peace dialogues and other counter-propaganda campaigns to protect the vulnerable communities in central Mindanao from the NPAs.

Vinluan has ensured that the grievances of the different tribes will be addressed by the local government units to prevent them from being deceived into joining the NPA organization. – Nikolai Gonzalo

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