TWO high-ranking members of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army in Barangay Manalog, Malaybalay City in Bukidnon on March 11, 2021, almost a week after President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit in Cagayan de Oro.
Brigadier General Ferdinand Barandon identified the two as Armando Daluniag, a commanding officer of Headquarters Force (HQF) Neo of the Northern Central Mindanao Regional Committee as well as the former deputy secretary of Guerilla Front 89; and Roland Lagunday, a squad leader of Squad 2, Platoon 2 and HQF Neo.
Daluniag and Lagunday surrendered 11 high-powered firearms, namely, four M16 rifles, three AK47 rifles, two M653 rifles, one M230 grenade launcher, and one M14 rifle.
According to Barandon, the two surrendered as a result of their cooperation with various government entities and other security stakeholders through the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Major General Andres Centino, 4th Infantry Division commander, for his part, said the NPA leaders’ surrender is a response to the call of the president for the remnants of the rebel group to surrender.
“We expect that more NPA leaders and members will heed the call of the president to return to the folds of the government,” Centino said.
Duterte, during his visit on March 5, assured the NPA members that the government will provide all the needed assistance such as livelihood, skills training, housing, among others to those who will return to the folds of the government.
“The surrenderers are now under the custody of 403rd Brigade for debriefing. We will ensure that all the benefits mentioned by the President will be provided to them under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) to help them have a better future with their families,” Centino said.