Former NPA rebels receive new houses

Former NPA rebels receive new houses
Photo from Philippine Army-8th Infantry Division

AT LEAST 10 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have received new houses through the National Government’s “Saad nga Balay” in San Jose de Buan, Samar.

“What we can promise is that we will continue to help our government so that our country will prosper and achieve lasting peace,” said Tito Labong, a former rebel and now the president of the San Jose De Buan Peacebuilders group.

Major General Camilo Ligayo, commander of the Philippine Army in Eastern Visayas, lauded the former rebels through their “continuous efforts and cooperation.”

“May this endeavor open doors to new possibilities and broaden our vision for the future…Let us make meaningful strides forward,” Ligayo added.

The housing project for the former rebels has a total budget P4 million, which was shared by the Samar Provincial Government and the local government unit.

Seven additional housing units are still under construction, according to the Army.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed P10,000 AICS assistance to the former rebels, who are now identified as peacebuilders, in the area.

Meanwhile, the Office of Senator Robin Padilla pledged to cover the expenses for one housing unit and provided P200,000 to the peacebuilders group.

Padilla, who graced the inauguration and turnover of the housing units on April 5, 2024 in Barangay Poblacion 1, San Jose de Buan, assured the former rebels of the government’s commitment to help them.

The other government officials who attended the Saad nga Balay para han Peace Builders ha San Jose de Buan Samar" ceremony were Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan, San Jose de Buan Mayor Joaquin Elizalde, 801st Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General Lenart Lelina, among others.

The "Saad nga Balay" initiative aimed to support former NPA rebels by offering them adequate housing, allowing them to start a new life after their surrender to the government. (Ronald O. Reyes/SunStar Philippines)

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