Military assesses needs of ex-rebels

AT least 70 former New People’s Army (NPA) members underwent the needs assessment survey conducted by the Philippine Army’s 1003rd Brigade in partnership with the local government in Bunawan, Davao City on Friday, March 23.

Colonel Ernesto Torres Jr., 1003rd Brigade commander, said the survey was conducted in partnership with the Davao City government, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Tesda offices in Barangay Mahayag, Bunawan.

The survey is meant to determine the livelihood preferences of the former rebels and advise them on feasible projects they are fit to undertake in relation to their skills once they will be enrolled to Tesda center.

Most of the former rebels who underwent the survey are from Paquibato District, Torres said, adding that there are also minors included in this survey.

He added that the government agencies’ crucial role and intervention is proven in successfully leading back the former rebels to the mainstream society, especially that some of them have a hard time returning to their communities.

Torres added that former rebels have been in a different psychological perspective due to intensive indoctrination and radicalization but he is optimistic in the ongoing development.

“This will further encourage more surrenderers. This activity projected our sincere hopes to them that we really are after peace,” Torres said.

He said there are many fruitful developments that can be derived from working together and things that guns could not resolve, referring to the concerted efforts of the unit with other sectors, as he encouraged other rebels to return to the folds of the law. ICT
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