KORONADAL CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 30, 2009) – A member of the communist rebel group New People’s Army has surrendered Thursday to the Philippine military in Mindanao, officials said.
Officials said the Delbert Batuga, 26, surrendered to the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion in Saranggani province. He yielded an automatic rifle, according to Army Capt. Rosa Cristina Manuel.
Manuel said the rebel would be given aid and livelihood training for his to start a new life. “He’s tired of life in the mountain and wanted to start a new life and we are helping him realize that,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.
She said the surrender came a day after rebel forces clashed with troops in the village of Lambingi in Banga town in South Cotabato province. She said troops repulsed an NPA attack late Wednesday on a patrol base and killed a rebel deputy commander, Ronan Cardeno, and wounded and captured another, George Lamigo.
Manuel said the wounded rebel was rushed to hospital by soldiers in Koronadal City where he being treated for gunshot wounds.
On Thursday, Defense chief Gilberto Teodoro visited North Cotabato province and led the inauguration of several government infrastructure projects worth some P6.5 million.
Provincial governor Jesus Sacdalan and his deputy Emmanuel Pinol joined the inauguration. Among the projects were farm-to-market roads, school buildings, health centers and a village hall. (Geo Solmerano)