2 terrorist NPA leaders, ‘messenger’ surrender in Surigao and Compostela

PHILIPPINES–Military officials have confirmed that another member of the terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) has surrendered in Surigao del Sur province on October 20. The surrenderee reportedly worked as a ‘messenger’ for the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Lieutenant Colonel Xerxes Trinidad, commander of the Army’s 36th Infantry “Valor” Battalion (36IB), identified the surrenderee as 21-year-old Jolimar “Reno” Albas, a resident of Barangay Bituagan, in San Miguel town.

Albas also surrendered a shotgun with serial number 744336. Albas claimed to be a member of the “Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda-Interior (SYP-I), SRC 2130 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).”

Albas said he joined the terrorist organization because of his fondness for firearms and claims he was deceived by false promises that the group would support him.

Abas’ surrender was facilitated by another former rebel, who convinced him to avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), a government integration and intervention program meant to facilitate the transition of ex-insurgents away from radicalism.

Earlier this year, an NPA bomb maker also surrendered in Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile in Compostela Valley, two ranking NPA leaders and nine guerilla rebels surrendered to the military in the town of Monkayo last week, an Army official said Thursday.

The highest ranking surrenderee used to lead the NPA’s Guerilla Front 33, as well its personnel and recruitment unit, said Capt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley province.

Lamosao said the NPA leader, only identified as “Lodi” by the military for security reasons, also surrendered an M1 Caliber 30 Carbine, a defaced M16 and an improvised explosive device (IED).

The other NPA leader, whom the military identified only as Pedro, was the former vice commander of the Downgraded Guerilla Front. Pedro brought with him a KG9 9-mm.