AT LEAST 23 former communist rebels have received financial aid from the government during a Provincial Peace and Order Council Special meeting at a hotel in Butuan City, early this week.
The local government of Agusan del Norte turned over a total of P2.6 million through the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-clip) while the Department of Social Welfare and Development also gave P105,000 to the former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who abandoned the armed struggle.
Government officials urged the 23 former rebels to help in the peace efforts in their respective communities and promised full education scholarship of their children.
Four of the 23 former NPA combatants surrendered to the 29th Infantry Battalion; 13 turned themselves in to the 23rd Infantry Battalion and six to the police.
402nd Infantry Brigade commander Colonel Maurito Licudine thanked the officials of the local government for the support in the campaign against insurgency.
“The whole of nation approach has been the game changer in uniting all stakeholders and different agencies to counter the insurgency problem. The communist insurgency will soon end as long as we continue our work to bring development and address issues in the conflict affected areas and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas,” Licudine said.
“We reiterate our call to the remaining Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army terrorist to avail the E-clip and choose to live peacefully with their families. The army will continue to be relentless in combating insurgency to bring peace and development in the communities,” he added.