By Edwin Fernandez
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao: A ranking communist rebel and his aide have surrendered to the military in their desire to be reunited with their families, an Army official here announced Saturday.
Lt. Col. Rommel Valencia, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion (7IB), presented the New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderers to Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Mangudadatu, also chair of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict, at the province’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall on Friday.
Valencia identified the two latest surrenderers as Nelson Dulunan alias Jerick, leader of NPA Platoon West, Sub-Regional Command, Far South Mindanao Region, and his aide, Arthur Masot.
“They also turned over a Garand and M4 rifles with ammunition,” he said.
Before his surrender, Dulunan was responsible for organizing a communist mass base in the hinterlands of Palimbang, Kalamansig, and Senator Ninoy Aquino towns, all in Sultan Kudarat.
“Constant and continuing military offensives in the mountains of Sultan Kudarat forced us to surrender,” he told reporters over a phone interview. “Primarily, my reason for yielding is to be with my family and my 10-year-old son.”
Valencia said his unit would continue to offer the hand of peace to communist rebels wanting to surrender and reform.
“However, we will also continue using force to those who prefer to sow terror in communities,” he warned.
The Communist Party of the Philippines – NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
Philippine News Agency