Communist force in Soccsksargen continues to wane as 3 high-ranking leaders surrender

THREE high-ranking leaders of the armed communist movement surrendered Friday in Sultan Kudarat, the latest in a string of top officials giving up arms in the Soccsksargen region in southern Philippines.    

Police and military authorities said the three officials of the New Peoples Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, vowed to help convince other officers and members to yield too.  

Philippine Army 6th Infantry Division commander Alex S. Rillera said the three men handed over assault rifles, a pistol and explosives before they formally renounced their membership from the NPA during a surrender ceremony with security forces.  

John Paul D. Baldomar of the Armys 37th Infantry Battalion, who was among those who interceded for the former rebels, said one of them was a self-styledleader of an NPA unit in the region.   

The two other surrenderers led big groups tagged in the burning of heavy equipment of construction companies involved in high-ticket government infrastructure projects whose owners refused to shell out protection money.” 

Records from the Police Regional Office-12 or Soccsksargen and the military show 29 senior NPA leaders and 357 members from different towns in the central Mindanao area had surrendered since 2020.  

Soccsksargen is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City. John M. Unson