97 NPA members surrender to PH military in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines – Nearly a hundred New People's Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered in Mindanao, according to the Philippine military.
Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista personally received on Wednesday, May 21, a new batch of 97 surrenderees in Agusan Del Sur province.
Governor Adolf Edward Plaza, Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Ricardo Rainier Cruz, and 4th Infantry Division commander Major General Ricardo Visayas joined the AFP chief.
Under the Balik Baril Program, the surrenderees received a total of P881,750 as "remuneration" for the 93 assorted firearms they surrendered to the military.
"Thirty-three of the former rebels are NPA regulars while the rest are members of the Barrio Revolutionary Committees and ‘Militia ng Bayan.’ Seventy belong to indigenous groups, particularly the Manobos; while 12 admitted they were recruited when they were still minors," said AFP Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala.
The surrenderees also received support packages to help them start over. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com