2 alleged NPA leaders surrender to Cagayan police

CAGAYAN, Philippines – Two alleged members of the New People's Army (NPA) surrendered to police amid the Duterte administration's intensified "crackdown" on communist rebels.

In a report sent to media on Wednesday, December 13, the Cagayan Valley regional police identified the surrenderers as Nestor Belarmino, alias "Ka Rapi, 39; and Loarlito Malubag, alias "Ka Jay-R", 27.

Police said Belarmino was an NPA unit's supply officer while Malubag was a squad leader.

Both former rebels reportedly turned themselves in to authorities last week, saying they could no longer bear the difficulties and hunger in the mountains.

"Maliban sa takot at pangamba na posibleng malagay sa alanganin ang kanilang buhay ay di na umano nila nakayanan ang hirap na dala ng pagod at pangangalam ng sikmura sa gitna ng bakbakan," the Cagayan Valley police said in its report.

(Aside from fear and anxiety that their lives could be in danger, they allegedly cannot endure anymore the difficulties brought about by the physical exhaustion and hunger amid the clashes.)

Intelligence gathered by police showed Belarmino joined the Cafgu unit of the Army's 17th Infantry Battalion in 2008, but was later recruited by certain "Ka Nick," the same person who also recruited Malubag in 2014.

In a statement, Police Regional Office II director Police Chief Superintendent Robert Quenery welcomed the surrender of Belarmino and Malubag as he also urged other rebels to do the same. 

“Tinitiyak natin na may naghihintay na pag-asa at magandang kinabukasan para sa kanila dahil maliban sa makakapamuhay na sila ng normal kasama ang kanilang pamilya at mga mahal sa buhay ay mabibigyan pa sila ng tulong pangkabuhayan mula sa gobyerno,” Quenery said.

(We assure them that hope and a good future await them because, aside from the fact that they will be able to live normal lives with their families and loved ones, they will receive livelihood assistance from government.) 

President Rodrigo Duterte recently scrapped peace negotiations with the Left, and declared the Communist Party of the Philippines a terrorist organization. He has ordered the re-arrest of its political consultants previously freed for the talks. The NPA is the armed group of the CPP. – Rappler.com