2 more NPAs yield to Army in Sultan Kudarat

Mindanao Peace Process • Mon Dec 11, 2017 02:05 PM  •  131   0
By Edwin O. Fernandez
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Ruben Balagay alias Ka Rustom turns over his gun to the Army witnessed by local officials of Barangay Monteverde, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. (33rd IB Photo)
Ruben Balagay alias Ka Rustom turns over his gun to the Army witnessed by local officials of Barangay Monteverde, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. (33rd IB Photo)
PRES. QUIRINO, Sultan Kudarat, – Two More communist fighters have surrendered to the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion here Sunday, raising the number of communist rebels to have voluntarily yielded to the government in the 33rd IB area of jurisdiction to to 80, an Army colonel said.  

Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc, 33rd Infantry “Makabaya” Battalion commander, said the two New Poeples Army (NPA) fighters who belonged to Dulangan-Manobo tribesmen operating in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat turned over two rifles in simple ceremonies at the Makabayan headquarters here.
 

He identified them Ruben Balagay alias Ka Rustom, 19, and Marlon Dayao alias Ka MarMar, 20, both members of Platoon My Phone led by Ka Ampog.  

Cabunoc said Ka Marmar was with Datu Victor when they engaged elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato last week. Datu Victor and five of his followers died in the clash.
 

The 33rd IB chief said the two surrenderees debunked allegations of the left the soldiers massacred the tribal members.
  “These are living witnesses of the clash and it was not a massacre but a legitimate encounter,” Cabunoc said.  

As of today, at least 80 former NPA rebels have already surrendered to the 33rd IB and have availed of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP). In exchange for their rifles, the former combatants have received P20,000 start-up livelihood funds. 
 

“We continue to encourage our brother IPs to avail of the government’s reconciliation program and live normal lives,” Cabunoc said. (Edwin O. Fernandez)  
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