CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), August 3, welcomed the surrender of 50 former communist rebels in Region 10.
DILG Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. led the oath of allegiance of 50 former combatants from the New People’s Army (NPA) and Militia ng Bayan (MB) as they swore to leave the communist armed rebellion and turn a new leaf as peaceful, productive Filipino citizens.
“Tandaan ninyo, sa mga sumuko sa gobyerno, we will make sure na hindi kayo magsisisi. Mahal na mahal namin kayo… Ngayong sumuko na kayo, ang pinaka-importante ay hindi ang pag-surrender ng baril. Ang pinaka-importante ay ito: sa mga susunod na araw ay maaalalayan sila [former rebels] ng gobyerno… Hindi ninyo kailangan kunin ang batas sa inyong kamay,” said Abalos.
(To those who surrender to the government, remember that we will make sure that you will not regret. We really love you. Now that you have surrendered, the most important thing is not the surrendered firearm but the fact that in the days to come, the former rebels will be guided by the government. You don’t need to bring the law in your hands)
The former communist rebels received a total of P13.8 million worth of assistance and firearm remuneration under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of government.
A total of 183 surrendered firearms were demilitarized during the ceremony. Of the surrendered firearms, 160 came from Bukidnon Province, 5 from Lanao del Norte, 6 from Misamis Oriental and 12 from Cagayan de Oro City.
“Sa pamumuno ng ating Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, pag meron kayong gobyernong nakikinig sa inyong problema, meron kayong gobyerno hindi lamang nakikinig, kundi gumagawa ng aksyon… At kung magkakasama tayo sa pagpapatupad ng mga programang ito, hindi tayo magkakamali,” said Abalos.
(Under the leadership of President Bongbong Marcos, if you have a government that listens to your problem, you will have a government that will not only listen but will also make an action. If we come together in implementing these programs, we will never make a mistake)
Abalos echoed the call of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s call for unity during the formal ceremony. “Tandaan ninyo, a republic that is one is a nation that is one. Sama-sama tayong babangon muli (We shall rise up together),” said Abalos.
Qualified E-CLIP beneficiaries are entitled to receive cash assistance like P50,000 livelihood assistance; P15,000 for mobilization expenses; and firearms remuneration amounting to the value of the surrendered firearms.
The E-CLIP aims to incentivize the communist surrender and help reintegrate former members of the NPA and MB as part of the government’s anti-insurgency and terrorism campaign.
The E-CLIP is a flagship program of the previous administration, which the present administration plans to continue.
Abalos said the Marcos administration targets to reach the far-flung barangays to solve the root causes of insurgency in the country.
“Bababa tayo sa pinakaugat ng puno. Bababa tayo sa mga barangay. Magtutulungan tayong lahat (We will go down to the root of the tree. We will go down to the barangay. We will help each other),” said Abalos.