By Alexander Lopez

(Photo courtesy of PRO-13)

BUTUAN CITY – Coinciding with the 55th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), a total of 178 firearms surrendered by communist rebels in the Caraga Region were demilitarized by the Police Regional Office in the Caraga Region (PRO-13) on Tuesday.

Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr., and PRO-13 Director Gen. Kirby John Kraft led the demilitarization of the firearms of the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), which were handed over by insurgents who surrendered during the last three months of the year.

The 178 firearms consisted of long and short guns and submachine guns.

One hundred of the destroyed firearms were surrendered by the NPA rebels in Agusan del Sur, 49 from Surigao del Norte, and 29 from Agusan del Norte.

“This activity ensures that no one shall use these weapons for crimes and illegal activities or to cause harm and wreak havoc on the people of Caraga Region,” Kraft said in a statement Wednesday.

After the demilitarization of the firearms, PRO-13 also presented to Acorda a platoon of NPA rebels who recently surrendered in the Caraga Region.

“This new batch of former rebels, who withdrew their support to the terrorist group and pledged allegiance to the government, headed to the call of the police force to lay down arms and embrace the path towards peace,” Kraft said. (PNA)