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Rebel returnee receives P500K cash from MisOcc LGU

OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental (PIA)--A high-ranking rebel surrenderee, who was a squad leader of "Guerilla Front Sendong," received P500,000 in cash from Governor Henry Oaminal as financial assistance for returning to mainstream society, May 19, at the Asenso Misamis Occidental Sports and Cultural Center.

The provincial government acknowledged the efforts of the rebel returnee to inspire others who are still in the mountains and may be considering a similar path and to foster unity and peace in Misamis Occidental.

Battalion Commander of the 10th Infantry "Steady On" Battalion, Lt. Colonel Jose Andre Monje, Infantry General Staff Corps, Philippine Army, said the purpose of the ceremonial handover of reward to a rebel returnee is to recognize and celebrate the transformation and reintegration of an individual who has chosen to leave behind a life of armed rebellion and embrace a path of peace and positive contribution to society.

"The status of the insurgency here in Misamis Occidental is that it is now dwindling from the top. We reduced their firearms specifically, as well as their manpower. So, we encourage them to avail themselves of government services and leave the armed struggle," he shared.

Oaminal encouraged the members of the Communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.

"Akong gihangyo ang atong mga kaigsuonan nga naa pa karon sa kabukiran, 16 nalang na sila kabuok. Kung mahimo mag-uban na ta, gawas sa award nga ihatag sa national government, naa sad atong reward gikan sa probinsyal government ug dili lang kanang tag P500,000 kung dili naa ta’y sustainable livelihood program nga at least ma-enjoy sad ninyo. Ang inyong pagbalik sa sabakan sa gobyerno na life is now getting more beautiful rather than naa dinha sa kabukiran," he said.

(I ask our brothers and sisters who are still in the mountains; they are only 16 in total. If we can work together, apart from the award given by the national government, we also have a reward from the provincial government, not just the P500,000, as we also have a sustainable livelihood program that you can enjoy. (With your return to the bosom of the government, life is now getting more beautiful than it was there in the mountains)

Cesar, a squad leader of "Guerilla Front Sendong," encouraged his former comrades who are still active in the terrorist group to return to the folds of the law, as he felt the sincerity of the government in helping them start anew a peaceful life through the assistance and support he and his family have been receiving.

"Sulod sa duha gyud namo ka bulan dinhi, maayo gyud ang pagtratar. Akong panawagan sa akoang mga kauban nga kadtong nangaigo nga nangabali na ang ilahang mga bukton, labi na ni akoang ig-agaw nga si Jeboy, si Jane, si Jophel ug kadtong uban pa nga samaron na si Andot, si Richard. Ug mogawas gyud sila, mosurrender maparehas sa akoa andam gyud gihapon ang gobyerno motabang sa ilaha," he said.

(In the span of two months here, they have treated us very well. I am calling out my comrades, those who have been injured and whose arms have been dislocated, especially my cousins Jeboy, Jane, and Jophel, and those who are still wounded, particularly Andot and Richard, to get out and surrender. (Similar to me, there is a government to help them)

The 10th Infantry Steady-On Battalion also presented the recovered firearms as a result of the series of encounters from February to April of 2023 in the Hinterlands of Misamis Occidental.

Among the weapons recovered were: Cal.45 Pistol (1), AK47 Rifle (2), CZ Rifle (2), M223-5.56mm Rifle (1), M16A1 Rifle (2). Each of these firearms stands as a testament to the triumphs achieved by the unit through their unwavering dedication and unwavering spirit. They have not only recovered these weapons but have also restored a sense of security and peace to the community.

The Provincial Government of Misamis Occidental, under the leadership and initiative of Gov. Oaminal, passed Resolution No. 513-22, September 19, 2022, granting financial assistance to identified local communist leaders in the province who shall return or surrender under the folds of the law.

Under the resolution, an amount of P500,000 each shall be granted to those identified as communist terrorist leaders, and an amount of P300,000 each shall be granted to those identified as communist terrorist group members. (SMRN/PIA-10/Misamis Occidental)

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