48 former rebels get Php 2.02M cash aid

The Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee of Bukidnon awarded a total of Php 2.02 million cash assistance to 48 Former Rebels (FRs) on April 29, 2021, held at Kaamulan Folk Arts Theater, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

In a statement, Army Major Jennan E. Montealto, civil-military operations officer of the 403rd Brigade, said that all 48 FRs have received PhP15,000 each as immediate cash assistance. He said 26 of them also received PhP50,000.00 as livelihood assistance.

The Bukidnon ECLIP Committee headed by Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. handed over the financial assistance to the former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) via a simple ceremony.

“As long as I am the governor of this province, I promise that the Provincial Government will not stop helping those who are in need, especially the FRs. I am very thankful that you gave yourself a chance to live peacefully with your families and be productive citizens of our province,” Zubiri said.

“I encourage you to use that cash assistance wisely. I am sure that the E-CLIP Committee and its partner agencies have taught and capacitated you on how to manage the assistance you received through various livelihood activities. Moreover, I enjoin you to become agents of change and advocates of peace,” he added.

Brig. Gen. Ferdinand T. Barandon, commander of 403rd Brigade emphasized that, “The Bukidnon Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (BTF-ELCAC) through E-CLIP and Amnesty Cluster will always be at your service to facilitate the assistance the government had promised to those who returned to the folds of the law. May this activity serve as an inspiration to those NPA members who want to avail the government’s integration program.”

Along with the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (Report by Bukidnon Online special correspondent Mel B. Madera)

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