BANGUED, Abra -- Governor Maria Jocelyn Bernos recently challenged rebel returnees to renounce an outdated ideology and start to live a life of freedom, enjoy love of family and build connections with real friends.

Bernos made the call to all insurgents and outlaws in the province after seven former rebels from the different parts of the province expressed willingness to surrender and rebuild good ties with the government.

Each returnees received P65,000 livelihood assistance under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program awarded by Bernos and Colonel Milfredo Melegrito, Commander 702Bde, Philippine Army during the MASA MASID (Mamamayang Ayaw sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga) launching at the provincial capitol on January 10.

“Use this money to start anew and provide for your family. Never go back to your old ways please,” Bernos enjoined as she expressed gladness many of those who have been misled are rejoining the mainstream society.

Six former rebels in the province earlier surrendered in November 2016. (Ginalyn Brioso/PIA–CAR)