Reds urged to choose ‘path of peace’ on 49th anniversary


MANILA — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin has called on to the remaining New People’s Army (NPA) members to surrender and rejoin society, as the rebel group celebrates its 49th founding anniversary on Thursday (March 29).

“We call on all NPA remnants to choose the path of peace and join those who have decided to go back to mainstream society. There is no greater fulfillment than to live in peace with your families and loved ones in a conflict-free community,” he said.

The AFP earlier reported that a total of 4,356 regular NPA members and their supporters have surrendered to government forces starting January 1 up to March 15 this year.

“The figure is composed of 626 NPA regulars and Sangay sa Partido Lokal (SPL) or local party members and 3,730 Militia ng Bayan (MB), Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) members and mass supporters. Majority of surrenders happened in eastern Mindanao particularly in the regions of Davao and CARAGA totaling 97 percent or 4,194,” the AFP said.

The massive rebel surrenders were triggered by the supposed corruption of NPA leaders and unfulfilled promises to the ranks.