CAMP SANG-AN, ZDS – Another NPA terrorist surrenders to the combined troops of 97IB and 42IB at Sitio Tungilawan, Brgy. Bagumbayan, Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte, Tuesday, August 3.
Surrendered communist terrorist was identified as alias Benjie/Arnel, the Team Leader ABE and Logistics Officer of Squad 2, Guerilla Front BBC, Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC).
Alias Benjie also surrendered one M16 Assualt Rifle with defaced serial number, one M635 Assualt Rifle with defaced serial number, one Beretta 9mm pistol bearing serial number P59434Z, six magazines, and ammunition.
In his statement, Alias Benjie narrates the hardships he went through with the terrorist group and the lies taught to him by their terrorist leaders.
“Kapoy na kaayo, walay saktong kaon ug tulog maong naka desisyon ko nga musurender kay klaro kaayo nga walay kaayohan ug kapuslanan ang pakigbisug sa mga armadong NPA [I was tired, there’s not enough food to eat, and I did’t get enough sleep, so I decided to surrender because I realized there’s no use of fighting with the NPA],” he said.
Alias Benjie also shared how the troops helped him, and he further urged the remaining communist terrorist to surrender.
“Abi nako patyon ko sa mga sundalo, daku diay kaayong sayop akong pagtoo ug sa dihang mitahan ko sa akong kaugalingun sa mga kasundalohan ila kung gitabangan. Ug bakak diay tong giingon sa among grupo. Akong panawagan sa tanan nakung kauban diha sa kabukiran surrender na mo kay tabangan ta sa gobyerno [I thought the soldiers will kill me, but I was wrong. The soldiers helped me when I surrendered. What our group told us are all lies. To all my comrades, surrender now because the government is here to help you],” Benjie added.
According to Lt. Col. Manaros M. Boransing, CO, 97IB, soldiers value life above all else, and each life saved from the violent influence of the communist terrorist is a life that will now be dedicated to peace and development in Zamboanga del Norte.
Maj. Gen. Gene M. Ponio, the 1ID commander, assured the CTG members who wish to surrender that their safety and well-being will be given utmost priority.
“Lay down your arms and return to the comfort of your families and friends,” said Maj. Gen. Ponio. “We will ensure your safety and well-being when you lay down your arms and will assist you in your reintegration to normal living.”
Alias Benjie is currently in the custody of 97IB for custodial debriefing and medical intervention. He will be endorsed to avail the government’s assistance program for former rebels—the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).