Left wing extremism - NPA losing strongholds in Samar: Army exec

TACLOBAN CITY – The recent surrender of two fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Samar is a sign that the communist terrorist group is losing their strongholds in the province.

Philippine Army's 87th Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Reynaldo Balido said in a statement on Thursday many NPA rebels are returning to fold of the law as they choose to live peacefully.

The army official made the statement days after the voluntary surrender of "Sadam" and "Allan" both residents of upland Lawaan 1 village in Paranas, Samar on Nov. 1.

They are both members of Squad 1 of Central Front Samar 1, sub-regional committee "Browse” of the NPA's Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee.

Sadam turned over an M16 rifle, six long magazines for M16, 160 rounds of 5.56mm ball ammunition and a bandolier. Allan surrendered an M16 rifle, a long magazine, and a short magazine for M16, 55 rounds of 5.56mm ball ammunition, and a bandolier.

"Sadam and Allan decided to turn their backs against the NPA and surrender after they learned that their comrades are plotting to kill them as they were suspected of being informants of the military," Balido said.

"This is a manifestation that the communist terrorists do not trust their ranks anymore as most of their members are returning to folds of the law and choosing to live peacefully," he added.

Balido assured the former rebels that the military will do its best to protect them. The Army battalion will also assist them in their claims for assistance from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the national government and Local Social Integration Program of local government units of Samar province and Paranas town.

The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1120890

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