MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)—Forty-four former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) completed the Deradicalization Program for Former Rebels Batch 1-2022 at Camp Osito Bahian, Malaybalay City last June 27.
The program that started on June 13 coached the ex-rebels on how they should go about their means of living in order to live in a peaceful community, as well as empowering them to become peace-building partners of the government.
The deradicalization program is the first part of mainstreaming process for former rebels. Once completed, they will then be admitted to the halfway house to be managed by the provincial government of Bukidnon and where they will undergo further training and capacity-building while waiting for the release of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) benefits.
The training also aims to assist former rebels to go back to their old selves as law-abiding citizens of the community and as God-fearing individuals.
Participants are mostly from Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur provinces.
Former rebel Michael Mantikinon of Guerrilla Front Malayag’s front operational command led the group that includes political instructors, squad leaders, as well as platoon medics.
Marieta Daayata, social welfare officer of DSWD region 10 who was the keynote speaker said the government understands their (FRs) respective roles in peace-building.
“We are grateful to the 403rd Brigade. They are always there to help and guide our FRS. That’s why the DSWD is also ready to offer all available programs for our FR partners. We hope that you truly are returning to the folds of the law. And now that you have completed this deradicalization, we will give each of you P10,000.00 in cash assistance,” Daayata said.
Acknowledging the government’s efforts, former rebel Chriza Paluga urged her former allies to surrender and live peacefully saying "Nagpasalamat ko niini nga programa kay mas nasabtan nako kung unsa gyud ang gusto sa atong gobyerno nga mahitabo para sa amo nga mga nailad sa mga teroristang CPP-NPA.”
Similarly, Michael Mantikinon in his statement said, "Paghuman nako sa ‘deradicalization,’ nalamdagan ko nga naa diay proseso nga ginasunod ang atong gobyerno aron aron makatagamtam ta sa mga programa nga para kanato. Dili diay ing-ana kadali ang paghatag sa atong mga gusto, labi na kung kini may kalabutan sa estado sa atong panginabuhi. Akong gihangyo ang mga kaubanan nga pataason pa nato ang atong pasensya ug pagsabot. Atong tabangan ang gobyerno aron mas mapadali ang pag-proseso sa mga butang nga atong gikinahanglan.”
BGen Ferdinand T. Barandon, 403rd Infantry Brigade commander in speech said that when President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO No. 70 in December 2018, the President was emphatic to put an end to the 52-year insurgency.
“The military cannot do it alone. It needs the help of the whole country. That is why EO 70 implementation puts a premium on the whole-of-nation approach. Finally, the 403rd Infantry “Peacemaker” Brigade is hoping that you have returned to the folds of the law. Our hearts are filled with gratitude knowing that you have finally returned home,” he said. (403rd Bde, 4ID, PA/PIA 10-Bukidnon)