By Mike U. Crismundo and Joseph Jubelag
Butuan City – Due to alleged corruption within the ranks of the New People’s Army (NPA), an alleged commanding officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) and five of his men surrendered to the 75th Infantry Battalion (75th IB) Monday morning in Surigao del Sur, claimed 25th IB commander Lt. Col. Jaime R. Datuin, on Tuesday.
“(They surrendered) because they can no longer stomach the corruption inside the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA organization where extorted money from the businesses and the people are only controlled by a few CPP-NPA leaders while the ordinary members go hungry and do not receive enough support from the leadership,” claimed 25th IB commander Lt. Col. Jaime R. Datuin, in a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday.
In his report to Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, commanding general of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division, and Col. Andres C. Centino, commanding officer of the Army’s 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade, Datuin said Jonathan C. Navarro, alias “Ka Rigor,” alleged commanding officer of the Sandatahang Yunit Pangpropaganda (SYP) Platoon, guerilla-Front Committee 3 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao regional Committee (NEMRC) also turned in high-powered firearms, along with the weapons of his men.
These weapons included an AK47 rifle, an M16 Armalite rifle, improvised M14 rifles, a homemade shotgun, a cal.-.357 Revolver, two hand grenades and assorted live bullets.
“These active NPAs have also gotten tired of the armed struggle that’s why they decided to come down when I initially talked to them,” Lt. Col. Datuin said.
Elsewhere in Mindanao, Col. Roberto Ancan, 1002nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the series of encounters between government forces and NPA rebels in the provinces of Sarangani and Davao Occidental the past weeks had forced local Communist insurgents to return to the mainstream society and avail of the livelihood projects from the government.
He said an NPA guerilla identified as Michael Tang surrendered Monday to the 73rd Infantry Battalion in Malapa Lt.Col Marion Angcao, 73rd IB commander, said Tang, who belonged to NPA Guerilla Front 71, also yielded an M-2 .30 caliber rifle.