IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon, Aug. 20 (PIA)—Another 38 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and ‘Militia ng Bayan (MB)’ received more than P1.7 million worth of cash as livelihood assistance from the government for paving the way towards lasting peace.
Through the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), the said 38 former rebels (FRs) received their cash incentives from Bukidnon E-CLIP Committee on Thursday, August 13, in a mass awarding ceremony at Kaamulan Folk Arts Theater, Malaybalay City.
Each of the 23 former NPA combatants received P50,000 livelihood assistance plus P15,000 immediate aid, while the 15 ‘Militia ng Bayan (former NPA supporters)’ received P15,000 each.
Alias ‘Jer,’ one of the FRs and now a CAFGU Active Auxilliary (CAA) expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming assistance he received from the government.
“Sobra akong kalipay ug pasalamat sa gobyerno sa ilang kinasingkasing nga pagdawat ug paghatag ug daghang suporta. Kani-adto, naa pa ko sa armado’ng grupo nga nagto-o sa sayop nga idolohiya, sa sayop nga pamuno-an. Apan karon, usa na ako ka hingpit nga CAA nga naga serbisyo sa among komunidad ug sa atong nag-inusarang gobyerno, ang gobyerno sa Pilipinas.” (I am very happy and thankful to the government for providing me utmost support. Before, I was with the struggling armed group believing in a wicked ideology, a wrong leadership; Now, I am a certified CAA serving our community under our only one government, the Philippine government,” alias Jer said.
Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr, E-CLIP Committee chairman, said “Malipayon ako nga kamo nakadawat na sa pinansyal nga tabang nga inyong magamit para magsugod sa bag-ong kinabuhi. Kini nga probinsya padayon nga maghatag sa mga interbensyon nga kinahanglan ninyo aron masuportahan ang imong pamilya.” (I am glad that you’ve received the cash assistance that you will use to start a new life. This province will continue to provide interventions that you need to support your families).
Last month, July 20, it can be recalled that 67 FRs in Bukidnon received a total of P2.5 million worth of financial aid.
Lt. Col. Edgardo V. Talaroc Jr, 8IB commanding officer, meanwhile, urged all the remaining communist terrorist members to surrender and avail of the government’s livelihood assistance programs.
“Ug sa makausa pa, kami nagahangyo sa mga nahibilin nga mga miyembro sa Communist New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) nga mo-surender na, buhi-i na ang inyong mga armas ug magpuyo nga malinawon kauban ang inyong pamilya. Ang gobyerno dunay E-CLIP nga maghatag ug kumpleto nga tabang para sa mga rebelde ug ilang mga pamilya nga gusto na mobiya sa armadong pakigbisog ug mobalik na sa sabakan sa balaod. (Once again, we urge all remaining CNT members to surrender, lay down your arms, and live peacefully with your families. The government has an E-CLIP that provides a complete package to the rebels and their families who decide to abandon the armed struggle and return to the folds of the law),” Lt. Col. Talaroc said.
Major General Andres Centino, commander of the AFP’s 4th Infantry Division, meanwhile, said they believe that more NPA rebels would lay down their arms after seeing their former comrades now living in peace.
“President Duterte wants to end this insurgency problem before his term ends. I am therefore urging the remaining NPA rebels to surrender and avail of the integration and livelihood programs that the government has in store for them,” MGen. Centino said. (CMO, 8IB, 4ID, PA)