Another NPA rebel surrenders in Occidental Mindoro

September 1, 2009 10:29 am 

MANILA, Sept. 1 — The communist New People's Army (NPA) continues to suffer defeat from the hands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines which is aiming to end the insurgency problem in the country on or before the end of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo term next year.

This as Rodolfo dela Cruz, alias "Jackson," a member of the NPA operating in Mindoro, voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Army's 80th Infantry Battalion troopers Tuesday.

Lt. Celeste Frank Sayson, 2nd Infantry Division spokesman, said Dela Cruz surrendered after an encounter between his group and 80th Infantry Battalion troopers that resulted in the death of one of his companions in Sitio Katiklop, Barangay Ligaya, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro last Aug. 12.

"According to him, the Army’s relentless combat and civil military operations in the area, his dream to live a new life and the difficulty of living in isolation led him to surrender," Sayson said.

Dela Cruz is now under the custody of 80th Infantry Battalion in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, undergoing the initial process of integration into the mainstream society through the Social Integration Program of the government, he added.

President Arroyo has directed the AFP and the Philippine National Police to defeat the NPA before she steps down from office in June 2010.

Latest military estimates placed the NPA strength at about 4,700 as of May, this year.

Peace negotiations between the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF) bogged down in 2004. However, the stalled talks are scheduled to resume this week in Oslo, Norway. (PNA)

scs/VR

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