Wanting to be reunited with his family, a New People’s Army (NPA) commander abandoned the armed struggle and voluntarily surrendered to Labangan Municipal Task Force To End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC), Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB), and Labangan PNP on November 24, 2020.
The NPA commander was identified as alias “PRAPRA”, the former Guerilla Front (GF) Commander of the now-defunct GF Feliciano ‘B’ and GF-13, the NPA’s Communist-Terrorist Groups (CTGs) formerly operating in Zamboanga Sibugay province.
PRAPRA was a Squad Leader in NPA’s Main Regional Guerilla Unit (MRGU) under the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC). He assumed leadership of MRGU following the apprehension of alias Jotham on September 22, 2020.
The 32-year-old alias PRAPRA entered the NPA terrorist group in 2010 as a member of GF Sendong, the CTG operating in Misamis Occidental province. The following year, he was transferred to MRGU.
Upon his surrender, PRAPRA revealed that they are continuously losing the support of their former mass bases, partnered with the growing social pressure from their families and the community.
It was also found out that PRAPRA, at the time of his surrender, was suffering from Massive Pleural Effusion— a condition in which excess fluid builds around the lungs and is sometimes referred to as “water on the lungs.”
The 53IB facilitated the medical operation of PRAPRA in Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center to remove the excess liquid in his lungs. He is currently on the road to recovery.
By laying down his arms and returning to the folds of the law, PRAPRA now enjoys reunion with his wife—also his former comrade in the armed group identified as a certain alias LYCA— and his son.
PRAPRA and LYCA surrendered along with 3 others: alias CARDO, BIBOK, and Mia. The five were welcomed by their former comrades—the Former Rebels of 53rd IB.
In a statement, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the Philippine Army continues to give premium on the well-being of Former Rebels.
“We continue to give premium on the former rebels’ well-being because we recognize that they are people too—people who need to be taken care of, people who need to feel love and compassion,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.
“We applaud the surrender of PRAPRA and his decision to be with his wife and family. This is a very solid manifestation that love for family is still stronger than worshipping false ideologies,” Lt. Col. Herrera added.
The five former rebels who surrendered are currently undergoing tactical investigation and custodial debriefing. The 53IB will then facilitate their benefits under various government programs and initiatives for Former Rebels including the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).