18 ex NPAs in Surigao Sur get P1.2 M aid

At least 18 former rebels in Surigao del Sur received a total of over PHP1.2 million in livelihood and cash assistance from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E CLIP) on Monday (February 10).

In a statement Tuesday, Captain Jonald Romorosa, civil military operations officer of the Army's 36th Infantry Battalion, said the financial aid was handed over to the former rebels in a ceremony held at the Governor's Office of Surigao del Sur in Tandag City.

Romorosa added that of the 18 former rebels, 17 are former regular members of the NPA and another a member of Militia ng Bayan (MB) from Barangay Mampi in Lanuza town, and Barangay Hinapuyan in Carmen municipality.

Each of the 17 former NPA members received PHP65,000 for livelihood assistance and PHP5,000 cash assistance from the provincial government of Surigao del Sur. The former rebel militiaman, meanwhile, received PHP15,000 livelihood assistance and PHP5,000 cash assistance.

The release of the livelihood and cash assistance was part of the reintegration program given by the government to allow the former rebels to renew their lives as they return to their families and the mainstream, Romorosa said.

The activity was graced by Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, 36IB commander, who emphasized the government's determination to support former rebels who want to abandon the communist rebel movement.

The activity is a testament of the government's sincerity to help former rebels to start their new lives with their families, Diagmel said, as he urged the remaining NPA members in Surigao del Sur to surrender and avail of government livelihood opportunities.

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Source: Philippines News Agency