BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A 54-year-old member of the New People’s Army and his teen-warrior son have abandoned the armed struggle and surrendered firearms to the 94th Infantry Battalion in Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, its spokesman, Capt. Oliver Usog, said yesterday.
Usog identified the two rebel surrenderees only as Ka Joker, 40, a member of the NPA Yunit Militia, and his 16-year-old son, Ka Jacking, a medical officer of the Sentro De Grabidad Platoon of the Central Negros Front 2.
The two NPA rebels also surrendered a 30 caliber Springfield sniper rifle and a .38 caliber revolver.
Ka Joker said that he and his son surrendered because of the relentless operations of the Philippine Army in the hinterlands of Himamaylan, Kabankalan City and Binalbagan, stressing that he cannot afford to see his son dying young.
Ka Jacking, on the other hand, admitted that he was with the NPA group that figured in an encounter with the 94IB on April 19 this year, in SitioTugas, Brgy. Carabalan, Himamaylan City, where 2Lt. Ralf Amante Abibico and two other soldiers died.
He admitted that he was recruited to join the NPA when he was 11 years old, Usog said.
Lt. Col. Angelo Guzman, 94IB commander, said that Ka Jacking and his father will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government.
Brig. Gen. Noel Baluyan, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said in a statement issued by 94IB, that Ka Jacking and many other minors should not be in the war zones, and condemned anew the NPA for recruiting children as warriors.
“They do not deserve to live in violence and fear. They belong in the safety of their homes and communities. They belong in schools that would educate them so they have a brighter future,” Baluyan said.*