MALAYBALAY, Bukidnon (PIA)—Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe welcomed 251 rebel surrenderees on 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 nasud (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.
The former rebels (FRs) received a total of P13.8 million in Immediate Assistance, Livelihood Assistance, Reintegration Assistance, and Firearms Remuneration provided by the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
Fight against insurgency
Four additional firearms were 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 that in cases where the firearm can no longer be used, the weapon has no monetary value.
Bukidnon Provincial Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police for their efforts and commitment to curbing insurgency cases in the community.
“Tungod sa inyong tabang, ang atong nasud 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.
Likewise, Roque thanked DILG for the values, programs, and policy directives that the department has provided to local government units (LGUs) in the pursuit of long-term peace in Bukidnon.
The DILG facilitates the provision of package assistance to FRs such as Immediate assistance of P15,000; Livelihood assistance of P50,000; Reintegration assistance of P21,000; Firearms remuneration; and Halfway house assistance, among others.
Transformed lives, hopeful future
Ka Armando (not his real name), one of the rebel 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 kapobrehon, apan kini ni resulta lamang sa pagsamot sa akong paglisod (When I first joined the NPA, I thought they would help me overcome my poverty, but they only made things worse),” he said.
With financial assistance from the ECLIP, ‘Ka Armando’ will be able to sustain his family’s livelihood through farming.
Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10, issued in 2018, the ECLIP offers a comprehensive package of assistance to former rebels 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 decided to abandon armed struggle and become productive members of society. (DILG-10/PIA-10/Bukidnon)