MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A well-known communist rebel commander surrendered on
Feb. 18, saying he believes the government of President Fidel Ramos could succeed
in ending the 24-year-old insurgency.
"My surfacing in the present situation is a sign that I believe that the present
administration has a chance to succeed," former guerrilla leader Leopoldo Mabilangan
told reporters after a meeting with Ramos. "I will still help the people not
through armed struggle, but through legal means."
Mabilangan, who joined the rebel movement in 1979, became popular as comrade Hector,
head of the Banahaw command of the New People's Army in the eastern province of Quezon,
where the rebels have strong support among impoverished farmers.