Eight (8) rebels surrender in South Cotabato

Eight former rebels were presented to South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr. at his office in the Provincial Capitol in City of Koronadal on November 14, 2023 by Lieutenant General William N. Gonzales PA, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, and Major General Alex S. Rillera PA, Commander of the 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central.

Among the individuals presented were five former members of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maguid Group, residents of Polomolok, South Cotabato. They voluntarily returned to the government and handed over their weapons, including two uzi, magazines, and ammunition to Task Force Gensan. Additionally, three former communist terrorists from the Far South Mindanao Region, who were on the government's watchlist, surrendered their firearms, such as the Colt AR15 5.56 Rifle, Caliber .45 Edge STI, and M1 Garand Rifle.

The decision of the three former rebels to surrender and return to the government was influenced by the heightened military operations against them, coupled with the extreme fatigue, hardship, and hunger experienced within the movement.

Major General Rillera welcomed the return of the eight former rebels, acknowledging them as victims of the deception and circumstances orchestrated by communist terrorists.

Governor Tamayo expressed gratitude to the AFP for their relentless efforts in maintaining peace and order in South Cotabato. He also assured full support for the military in the province in his administration.

Lieutenant General Gonzales commended the courage and success of the former rebels, describing it as genuine bravery and the rejection of a misguided struggle that was once perceived as noble. He emphasized that their awakening to the truth after a prolonged period reflects the triumph over false beliefs.

Under the guidance of the local government and the military, the ongoing objective is to provide the former rebels with the opportunity to reintegrate as productive members of society. Their voluntary surrender contributes to the government's pursuit of enduring peace and development in the country.

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