New People's Army (NPA) squad leader alias "Ka George" and "Ka Etan" is shown in this photo following his surrender on March 2, 2019, in Barangay Quinlogan, Quezon. His surrender was facilitated by the WESCOM's Joint Task Group South. (Photo courtesy of WESCOM Public Affairs Office)

A squad leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Palawan surrendered Saturday to operatives of the Western Command’s (WESCOM) Joint Task Group South in Barangay Quinlogan, Quezon.

The surrender of alias “Ka George” and “Ka Etan” was facilitated by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 (MBLT4) headed by Lt. Col. Darwin de Luna and with the help of local officials and residents.

The surrenderer reportedly revealed that there are many of his fellow ranking leaders and subordinates who already want “to leave the communist terrorist group.”

Alyas Ka George or Ka Etan disclosed that he “left the armed group because of corruption in their ranks” as funding support do not reach them.

He also narrated his frustration about the “numerous deceitful and unfulfilled promises of their leaders.”

His surrender as squad leader was welcomed by Vice Admiral Rene V. Medina, the commander of WESCOM, who earlier expressed willingness to support localized peace talks.

“His surrender is a clear indication of his unwillingness to continue with the armed struggle. This is another blow to the ranks of the communist terrorists as more of their members and leaders choose to abandon their worthless struggle and to take the path that leads to peace,” said Medina.

The NPA surrenderer will be processed to avail the benefits of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Social Integration Program (CLIP) of the national government and the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) of the provincial government of Palawan.

WESCOM said these programs are intended for the members of the NPA and “militiang bayan” in the province and their families.

“We continue to urge the remaining members of communist terrorists NPA to choose the path of peace. We call on them to put their arms down, surrender and rejoin the society. WESCOM and other government agencies and units are more than willing to assist them to start their lives anew with their families and loved ones,” Medina added.