Over 500 Reds surrendered ? AFP
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Saturday that 521 members of the New People's Army have surrendered since the termination of peace talks early this year.
In a statement, AFP Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the rebels apparently surrendered due to hardships that they had experienced while inside the organization.
“The AFP on its part welcomes these former rebels and is willing to offer them assistance in line with the administration’s local integration programs,” he said.
AFP Public Affairs Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said the continuous surrender of NPA members indicates that the strength of the Maoist group has been dwindling.
"This is also a clear manifestation of our successful intensified combat, intelligence, and civil-military operations, particularly in North-eastern Mindanao which is the NPA’s area of concentration,” he said.
In November alone, he said 18 leftist rebels voluntarily surrendered and turned in their firearms.
Since February this year, the military has neutralized 736 rebels, including 521 who voluntarily surrendered, 121 who were killed in combat operations, and 94 who were apprehended. It also recovered 578 high-powered and low-powered firearms from the rebels. Ella Dionisio/DMS