MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon (PIA)–Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe welcomed 251 former rebel (FR) surrenderees, August 18, urging more rebels to return to the government fold.
“Sa atong mga igsoon nga mga former rebels, maayong pagbalik sa sabakan sa atong gobyerno. Daghang salamat kay kita karon nagkahiusa ug nagtinabangay para makab-ot ang kalinaw para sa atong nasod (To our former rebels, welcome to the fold of the law. We thank you for your unity and help in attaining peace for our country),” he said.
A total of P13.8 million comprising Immediate Assistance, Livelihood Assistance, Reintegration Assistance, and Firearms Remuneration under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) was turned over to the FRs.
Fight against insurgency
Four firearms were also turned over to the ECLIP Committee for cost valuation, after which, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will determine the corresponding amount of each surrendered firearm. It is important to note, in cases wherein the firearm can no longer be used, the weapon will have no corresponding monetary value.
Bukidnon Provincial Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for their efforts and commitment to alleviating the insurgency cases in the community.
“Tungod sa inyong tabang, ang atong nasod nagpadayon nga malampuson batok sa insurhensiya sa atong komunidad (With your help, our country continues to succeed in ending insurgency in our community),” he said.
Further, Roque thanked DILG for the values, programs and policy directions that the department has been giving to the local government units (LGUs) in the attainment of long and lasting peace in Bukidnon.
The DILG facilitates the provision of package assistance to FRs in the form of immediate assistance of P15,000; livelihood assistance of P50,000; reintegration assistance of P21,000; firearms remuneration; half-way house assistance—among others.
Transformed lives, hopeful future
Ka Armando (not his real name), one of the FR surrenderees, said the ideology he had lived for years made him believe that the NPA will make his life better, but only resulted otherwise.
“Kaniadto, abi nako nga ang pagsulod sa NPA makatabang og sulbad sa akong kapobrihon, apan kini ni resulta lamang sa pagsamot sa akong paglisod (Before, when I joined the NPA I thought that they can help me solve my being poor, but this just resulted to my worsened situation),” he stated.
With the financial assistance from the ECLIP program, Ka Armando will be able to sustain his family’s livelihood through farming.
Pursuant to Administrative Order no. 10, s. of 2018, the ECLIP provides a complete package of assistance to FRs who were members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), as well as their immediate family members, ‘who have expressed their desire to abandon armed struggle and become productive members of the society.’ (DILG-10/PIA-10/Bukidnon)