3 CNTs voluntarily surrender to Army’s 36IB

CARMEN, Surigao del Sur – In a significant step towards peace, three (3) members of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) voluntarily surrendered to the 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion, 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, Philippine Army, stationed at Brgy. Puyat, Carmen, Surigao del Sur, on June 13, 2024.

The surrenderees were identified as Romnick Imba Fernandez alias “Ruru”, Squad 2, Platoon 2 member; Jenelyn Ascarez Quezada alias “Kenmae”, Platoon 1 Medic; and Vruce Lee C Domiños alias “Loloy”, Political Guide, Squad 2, Platoon 2. They were part of the Sub-Regional Sentro de Grabidad (SRSDG), Sub-Region Committee Westland (SRC WL), North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC). To demonstrate their commitment to ending their armed struggle, they surrendered one 7.62 mm M14 rifle and one KG 9 rifle.

The surrenderees decided to escape from their group and eventually surrendered due to battle fatigue and hunger. They revealed that one of their comrades, Andreno Escabas Rasonable alias Oli, a member of Regional Headquarters (RHQ) North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) was wounded during an encounter in Brgy Kolambugan, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur last 19 – 20 April 2024, but later died and was eventually buried somewhere in the hinterland of the said barangay.

Their decision to surrender was driven by the hardships they faced in the hinterlands while evading government troops. They were reassured by the humane treatment of surrendered NPAs by government forces and the comprehensive reintegration plans provided through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

This series of surrenders in Surigao del Sur highlights the effectiveness of collaborative efforts between government entities and the strong support of civil society organizations in addressing the root causes of insurgency. The Valor Battalion remains dedicated to fostering peace and reconciliation and encouraging other armed group members to reintegrate into mainstream society.

Lt Col Vincent M Viray, Commanding Officer of the 36IB, praised the surrenderees’ decision to return to the fold of the law, stating, “They made a wise decision to surrender, preventing the unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives. This marks another step forward toward lasting peace and stability. I encourage the remaining NPA members to follow the decision of the three surrenderees and embrace the path of peace and reconciliation.

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