Three members of the Samahang Partidong Lokal, two members of the Militia ng Bayan, and their supporters took their oath of allegiance to the government in Zamboanga del Sur on December 15.
The surrender came following an assembly conducted by the 53IB troops with the former rebels in the said barangay.
In coordination with the local government unit of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur and the Philippine National Police, the 53IB troops under Lieutenant Colonel Patria conducted the Emergency Barangay Assembly, dubbed as “Panagtigum Alang sa Kalambuan ug Kalinaw: Kalinaw ug Paglambo, sa Paghiusa Atong Makab-ot (Gathering for Progress and Peace: Peace and Progress, in Unity We can Achieve), in Barangay Ocapan on December 15.
The assembly was attended by residents of the said barangay.
During the event, former rebels who surrendered to the 53IB troops said communist terrorists deceive, exploit, and recruit the youth, farmers, women, and Lumads in Zamboanga del Sur.
During the assembly, the 77 communist terrorists and supporters surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Marlowe Patria, the commander of the 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion, and pledged their allegiance to the government in Barangay Ocapan at 9am on December 15.
To denounce their support to the Communist NPA Terrorists, the mass supporters also burned an NPA flag.
Also present during the activity were Alma Ilagan, the MLGO office staff; Ms Priscilla Marquiala, the IP Representative of MSWDO; Alicio Pabiran, the Municipal Agriculturist; Ma. Stella Sabal and Luzviminda Poran of the Rural Health Unit; Leonido Diamante of CENRO Guipos; and Jaime Rubio, a member of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, who presented to the residents the programs and services provided by their respective offices to the community.
Major General Roseller Murillo, the JTF ZamPeLan commander, said the 77 former rebels will be enrolled to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program to facilitate their reintegration.
Once they qualified and completed the process, the former rebels will receive financial assistance, firearms remuneration, and other benefits under the E-CLIP.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega said that the troops continue to establish lateral communication with the police and the local government to facilitate the surrender and the grant of the E-CLIP benefits to former rebels.
“We are currently maximizing our intelligence operations and community support programs while maintaining the strength of our focused military operations to pursue the remaining communist terrorists,” he added.