AFTER returning to the government fold, 27 former communist terrorist group (CTG) members received at least P700,000 in financial aid from the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental at the Capitol Building in Bacolod City on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Of the amount, P660,000 is for the financial livelihood while the rest is for firearm remuneration assistance for those who have surrendered to the 62nd, 79th and 94th Infantry Battalions through the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-Elcac)

The financial benefits are intended for their development as they join mainstream society.

Some of the beneficiaries were regular members of the CTG and others were “Militia ng Bayan (Milita of the People)”.

No less than Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson handed over the cash assistance to the beneficiaries in the presence of 303rd Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Inocencio Pasaporte.

Aside from Pasaporte, Department of the Interior and Local Government Officer-in-charge Roselyn Quintana, Planning and Development Officer Anna Marie Lucasan and Narciso Abad II, Focal Person of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and Provincial Administrator Reyfrando Diaz II also witness the financial aid distribution.

Also present were Lieutenant Colonels William Pesase Jr.;J-Jay Javines and Van Donald Almonte, commanding officers of the 62nd, 79th and 94th Infantry Battalions, respectively.

Pasaporter lauded the unwavering support of Provincial Task Force Elcac to former rebels, whom he said, were victims of the propaganda lies of the CTG.

”This is solid evidence that the local government of Negros Occidental is sincere in its commitment to allowing rebels to start anew, be able to live normal lives again, and unite with their families,” he said, as he urge other rebels to surrender peacefully now.

The awarding of financial assistance to the former rebels is just among the future endeavors of the local government, military, police, all partner agencies, and stakeholders as a holistic solution employing the whole-of-nation approach, Pasaporte added.

The army official said they will welcome any rebel who would lay down their arms and return to the government fold.