A New People's Army camp in Eastern Visayas (photo from the NDF-EV Blogspot page)
A New People’s Army camp in Eastern Visayas (photo from the NDF-EV Blogspot page)

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines — A day after a former New People’s Army commander in Northern Samar urged his former comrades to give up the armed struggle, 53 rebel supporters, including members of a local militia, surrendered en masse to the military Sunday afternoon.

The 38 “barangay organizing committee” members and the 15 rebel militia members turned themselves in to Lieutenant Colonel Noel Vestuir, commander of the 20th Infantry Battalion, in Bobon town.

The mass surrender came a day after Lemuel Moreno, former NPA squad leader, and his wife Nida, a medical officer, issued their appeal after receiving P50,000 for the two caliber .45 pistols they turned over to the military.

The couple surrendered on June 13.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, the Morenos’ son Jonathan, an NPA team leader known as Baris and Abon, also surrendered.

Vistuir said the elder Moreno headed the organizing committee that organized rebel cells and the NPA militia in Barangay Duran, Bobon.

Rebel militias are drawn from NPA mass supporters and provide support during tactical offensives and other operations,

Bobon Mayor Rene Celespara said that the rebel supporters will receive a livelihood package worth P50,000 and their former leaders will also receive P5,000 under the Local Social Integration Program.

They are also entitled to cash rewards for each firearm they surrender.

(Note: This articles first appeared in Interaksyon.com with the same author. Here’s the links, http://www.interaksyon.com/article/64874/responding-to-ex-npa-leaders-call-supporters-surrender-en-masse)