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16 NPA rebels surrender in ZDS

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Sixteen members of the New People's Army (NPA), four of whom are female (locally called ‘amazona’) and two child warriors, surrendered to the military in Zamboanga del Sur on Wedneday.

According to Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, commanding officer of Army’s 53 IB, the surrenderees can no longer withstand the hardship in the jungle and so now they want peace and live normal life with their families.

Patria said one of the female surrenderees alyas "Cel" was already a fourth year education student, but had long stopped going to school when recruited last year.

"To be honest, I found no sense staying with the group in the jungles for a cause,  I saw no meaning,  no direction, and no hope, I should pursue my study in college" Cel said.

Patria said these surenderees will be thoroughly processed, which include making them undergo series of re-orientation seminars, psycho social debriefing session, and livelihood trainings by different partner government agencies such as DILG, DSWD, and TESDA

The two, who were minor aged when recruited, will be especially handled by the DSWD, most of them can be enrolled with the enhance comprehensive local integration program (E-CLIP) to receive livelihood assistance in preparation for their return to the mainstream society.

Majority of these surrenderees belong to CNT group Secom Kara of the Western Mindanao Party Committee of the CPP/NPA/NDF, including those 13 who surrendered to the authorities last July of this year and now undergoing different procedure for the E-CLIP.

These surrenderees are the ones who used to operate and wreak havoc in the Municipalities of Lapuyan, Tigbao, Lakewood, San Miguel, and Pagadian City in Zamboanga Del Sur. (Ely Dumaboc)




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