Former NPA combatant Albert Yanong Alon (center) surrenders to the officials of the 15th Infantry Battalion in Cauayan, Negros Occidental on May 22. Alon is believed to be one of the leaders of the rebel group in the province. 15th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army via PNA “I call on the other members of CPP-NPA to lay down your arms and live a peaceful life with your respective families. Your local government units, together with the 15IB, are willing to help those who will give up their armed activities,” he added.(With a report from PNA/PN) According to the 15IB, Alon was recruited by the CPP-NPA when he was only 16. BACOLOD City – A New People’s Army (NPA) leader has voluntarily surrendered to Philippine Army troops in Cauayan, Negros Occidental, the 15th Infantry Battalion (15IB) reported. The 27-year-old Albert Yanong Alon alias “Butsoy” was a platoon leader of the North Negros Front and a squad leader of the SYP/SDG Platoon of the southwest Front operating in the area of Barangay Sangke in his hometown Hinobaan.He yielded on May 22 as a result of the 15IB’s Community Support Program campaign and triad operations to further pressure the communist-terrorists and their supporters in this province to end the armed struggle. Alon’s experience as a seasoned combatant made him a platoon leader of an independent unit operating in northern and southern Negros Occidental in 2012. “After many years, he has realized that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA only used him for their vested interests, and he had no respectable future if he decided to stay. But just like the previous surrenderers, it is not too late for him to live peacefully with his family,” he added. He joined the armed group, believing that being part of it would resolve his social concerns, particularly land issues. Alon added that with the assistance of 15IB, he could start over with his family without fear. “During my years in the struggle trying to destroy the government, I have not seen freedom, equality and peace. When our comrades die, their families do not receive any assistance and benefits from the organization,” he said. He urged his former comrades still fighting in the mountains to give up the armed struggle. Meanwhile, Hinoba-an Mayor Ernesto Estrao thanked the former rebel for deciding to surrender. According to the Army, Alon is the third high-ranking NPA official in this province who surrendered to 15IB this month. Lieutenant Colonel Erwin Cariño, commanding officer of 15IB, welcomed the former Alon’s decision to choose the right path towards peace by returning to the fold of the law.