By Mike Crismundo
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Two alleged high-ranking commanders of the communist-New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA) voluntarily surrendered on Thursday in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, Lt. Tere Ingente, chief of Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) today said.
The 4th ID PAO officer added that the two armed NPA commanders voluntarily gave themselves up to Lt. Col. Rommel S. Pagayon, commanding officer of the Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion (26th IB).
Aside from the two high-ranking NPA commanders, another armed NPA regular also voluntarily yielded to the 26th IB commander, the 4th ID PAO officer further added.
Pagayon identified the alleged former NPA rebels as Jeffrey D. Mondejar, a.k.a. Bars, alleged vice commander of Regional Sentro de Grabidad (RSDG) COMPAQ and Jaica G. Precioso, a.k.a. IC, alleged Platoon Medic commander of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) Banglas of Guerilla Front Committee 88 (GFC 88) of the CPP-NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
The 26th IB commander also identified another regular fighter, Apatan S. Agsubo, a.k.a. Tan of SYP2, GFC 34 of the CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC), who also voluntarily gave up himself on the same day.
The surrenderers also yielded four high-powered automatic rifles, magazines with live ammunitions and one hand gun with live bullets, Pgayon added.
The immediate cash assistance, in exchange of their surrendered firearms, livelihood and other support from the government are already in the process of documentation, in relation to the CLIP program of the government.
Meanwhile, according to Col. Andres Centino, commanding officer of 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade, the former rebels surrendered because they can no longer stand the alleged widespread corruption inside the NPA and the alleged rampant atrocities it inflicts to innocent civilians.
The recent surrenderers heard the different programs of the government in a radio broadcast and were thereby convinced of the sincerity of the Duterte’s administration to help the former rebels. More so when they found out that their former comrades were invited to Malacañang Palace to dine with our President,” Centino said.
Earlier this month, 123 FRs from the 4th ID area of responsibility (AOR) were invited by President Duterte for a three-day tour in Manila and a dinner at Malacañang Palace.
“There is a life far more progressive and peaceful than the life being experienced by the NPA terrorists in the mountains. Our president is extending his hands to help them and to find extraordinary ways to encourage them to lay down their arms and return to the mainstream society,” also said Maj. Gen. Ronald C. Villanueva, northeastern and northern Mindanao 4th ID chief.
Aside from the dinner invitation, former female rebels are now in the process of getting passports for a future trip abroad care of the President of the Philippines, Villanueva added.