By Ben Serrano,
and Shiela Mae Butlig,
BUTUAN City — Three guerrilla fighters of the New People’s Army surrendered on separate incidents on Monday just as the 401st Infantry Brigade based in Agusan del Sur were about to start its military offensive against the armed dissidents.
Two NPA fighters surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion based in Bayugan City on Feb. 6.
Capt. Jasper Gacayan identified the two guerrillas as Jerry “Ka Wawie” Petelo and Rany “Ka Dondon” Ayawon of the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Party Committee operating in the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte.
Also on the same day, an 18-year old fighter identified as Dondon Quilliano Maca surrendered to the 41st Civil-Military Operations Company of San Juan Madrid, Surigao del Sur.
Petelo and Ayawon surrendered with them one M16 rifle, two Garand rifles, one Carbine rifle, one light anti-tank weapon, and two improvised explosive devices.
For his part, Maca surrendered with him one M16 rifle, one Stag rifle with serial number 00196911, and one ammunition clip with 30 rounds of 5.56mm ball.
Lt. Col. Patrick De Villa of the 401st IB Phil Army, Bayugan City local government officer Elba Belmonte, and Chief Insp. Rommel Villamor, who represented Bayugan City Police Office, received Petelo and Awayon in a simple ceremony.
In their surrender speech manifestations, Petelo and Awayon bloth claimed they were frustrated with the NPA leadership for not giving their allowance anymore and both feared the incoming Army offensive as reasons for their surrender.
401st Brigade commander Col. Cristobal Zaragoza assured the NPA surrenderees that they will receive benefits under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government and incentives for the firearms returned to start their new lives.