CAMP OSITO BAHIAN, Malaybalay City (PIA)—Some 896 former rebels (FRs) in Bukidnon received a total of P8.9 million financial assistance from the government recently held at Poblacion, Impasugong, Bukidnon.
Organized by the local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) with support from the Office of Senator Bong Go, the FRs received P10,000 cash each.
In a video message, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said, “Dako ang akong pasalamat sa inyong pagtambong karong adlawa. Kini usa lamang ka gamay nga hinabang para kaninyo labi na gyud karong panahon sa pandemya pinaagi sa programa sa atong gobyerno ubos sa pagmando sa atong Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Daghang salamat kaninyong tanan. Unta magpadayon ang inyong pagsuporta sa atong gobyerno para sa kalambo-an.”
(I am very grateful for your presence today. This small help comes from the government as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte. I hope this would help you especially this time of pandemic. Once again thank you. I hope you will continue your support of the government’s peace and development efforts)
The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 10 and the local government of Impasugong for the Enhanced KADIWA project also highlighted the event.
Impasugong Mayor Anthony Uy explained that the DA’s KADIWA assistance program aims to give farmers additional capital, through farmers’ cooperatives and associations, to buy the farm inputs and equipment that could help them sell their produce directly to consumers. This may include packing equipment, vegetable crates, a delivery truck, and a revolving fund as assemblers or consolidators of fresh produce.
On the same occasion graced by the Provincial Governor, DTI, TESDA, DA, DOLE, and DSWD, the FRs also received family food packs and livelihood kits.
In a speech, Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. said the beneficiaries are those regular members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and ‘Militia ng Bayan’ operating in Bukidnon who surrendered from the year 2016 to date.
“Sa mga mahal nakong katawhan dinhi sa Bukidnon labi na kaninyo nga kaniadto nahisalaag sa inyong mga dalan. Nia sa inyong atubangan karon ang mga ahensiya nga naghi-usa aron matabangan kamo sa inyong pagbalik sa atong gobyerno. Akong panawagan sa mga kaigso-onan ko nga naa pa sa kabukiran nga pagmata na kamo sa kamatuoran nga dunay tinuod nga gobyerno nga andam motabang kaninyo,” the governor said.
(To my dear people here in Bukidnon—especially those who have strayed from the right paths—could realize that the government wants everybody to live a peaceful, happy, and comfortable life. Hence, I call on my brothers and sisters who are still in the mountains to return to the fold of the law because the government cares for you)
Brigadier General Ferdinand T. Barandon, 403rd Infantry Brigade commander also thanked the former rebels for cooperating with the government’s peace efforts.
“Ito na po ang resulta ng pagpapatupad ng Executive Order No. 70 na pinirmahan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte noong 2018 na kung saan nakasaad ang pagtutulungan ng ibat-ibang ahensya para sa isang layunin na makamtan natin ang tunay na kapayapaan. Ako po’y muling nagpapasalamat sa ating mga kasamahan sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran pati na sa ating Governor Jose Maria Zubiri dahil sa kanilang kooperasyon,” BGen. Barandon said.
(Our hard work pays off as President Rodrigo Duterte’s EO No. 70 comes to fruition. Once again, I thank our colleagues for the full cooperation and support in achieving our aspirations. I am also grateful to Gov. Jose Maria R. Zubiri for his support to meet the FRs’ needs). (CMO, 8IB, 403rd Bde, PA/PIA Bukidnon)