CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines—WHO says only rebels surrender?
The New People’s Army (NPA) yesterday claimed that at least six militiamen under the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion surrendered to its sub-regional command in Sagundanon, Kibawe town in Bukidnon on Friday last week.
The NPA spokesman for south central Bukidnon, Ka Ariel Magbanua, said the “surrenderers” are members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) under the 72nd IB.
The NPA claimed the Cafgu members laid down their weapons that included a M79 grenade launcher with 23 rounds of ammunition, M16, M14 and Garand rifles, two shotguns and ammunition, and two rifle grenades, among others.
He did not say if the militiamen were compensated for the firearms just like in the government’s Balik Baril program.
Magbanua claimed the militiamen gave themselves up to the NPA’s Section 5 in south central Bukidnon under its sub-regional command in north central Mindanao in April 28.
He identified the alleged “surrenderers” as Cafgu team leader Antonio Mansaloon, his brother Tiano, Robert Pawas, Angel Mandalomon, Angela Pawas, Elie Mandalomon and JR Limpangan, all from Kibawe town.
The NPA claimed the supposed surrender took place after issued a call for the villagers to distance themselves from a group called “Alamara.”
The NPA blamed the group, allegedly organized with the support of the military, for the disunity among indigenes.
“Miaging tuig pa lang, gusto nang mo-surrender si Antonio Mansaloon tungod sa wala matuman sa AFP ang gisaad kanila nga hatagan sila og sweldo ug saktong pagkaon. Pugos usab sila nga gipagiya sa mga operasyong militar sa kabukiran,” Magbanua said.