ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (Mindanao Examiner / 17 Nov) – A farming couple who are members of the communist New People’s Army have surrendered Friday to the military in the southern Philippines, officials said on Friday.
Officials said Arselito Corpuz also known as Jojo Gumutong, and his wife Lenelyn Corpuz voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 12th Division Reconnaissance Company in Leon Postigo town in Zamboanga del Norte province.
The two were members of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, said Major General Raymundo Ferrer, commander of the 1st Infantry Division.
He said the duo told interrogators that they broke away from the NPA because of the harsh life in the mountain. "They said more rebels wanted to surrender and begin a new life with their families, but many of them have been threatened with death by their commanders should they surrender to the government," Ferrer told the Mindanao Examiner.
“The military will continue to negotiate for possible surrender of communist terrorists in the area; armed confrontation is not the only solution to counter-insurgency. Cooperation and lateral coordination among local government units are also needed,” he said.
The NPA, armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), is fighting the past three decades to topple the government and install a Maoist state in the country.
Peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels collapsed last year following the pullout of the National Democratic Front (NDF) from the talks due to its inclusion in the terror lists of the United States and the European Union.
Rebel leaders demanded that Manila asks the United States and the European Union to strike them off from the terror lists before they resume peace talks. (Mindanao Examiner)