MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)–Thirty-four former rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA) from Misamis Oriental each received P50,000 each as the government’s livelihood assistance thru the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Aside from the P1.7 million total cash assistance from the DILG’s E-CLIP, each of the former rebels (FRs) also received P5,000 additional cash grant from Governor Yevgeny “Bambi” Emano of Misamis Oriental province.
LtCol. Ricky Canatoy, commanding officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion, said the added amount would serve as start-up capital for the former rebels’ chosen livelihood.
In his speech during the cash assistance awarding ceremony, Misamis Oriental Board Member Dexter Yasay, who represented Gov. Emano, encouraged the FRs to help the government in its peace and order drive.
“We are all Filipinos and we must unite for the betterment of our country. The wrong ideology of the NPAs had done nothing but bloody kind of war and the victims were Filipinos. With this ideology, Filipinos are killing Filipinos and this should stop. I hope that all FRs will help the government by informing their relatives, friends, and fellow rebels who are still in the NPA ranks to lay down their arms and avail of the E-CLIP. For you who have received the cash assistance, I encourage you to utilize the money wisely and purposely to help you and your families,” Yasay said.
Reports showed that from 2016 to date, the 58th Infantry Battalion had 212 surrenderees, both regular NPA and ‘Milisyang Bayan’. Out of these 212 surrenderees, 72 FRs already received their Livelihood Assistance; 115 had their Immediate Cash Assistance, 121 for the Reintegration Program Assistance and 14 FRs availed of the firearms remuneration.
With those statistics, Col. Ferdinand Barandon, 403rd brigade commander, said that the activity is one way of showing the government’s relentless efforts to end local communist armed conflict in Region 10.
“Best efforts are always exerted by the LGUs, Philippine Army, and partner agencies to give what is due and promised for the FRs who chose to go back to the folds of the law and mainstream society. We always ensure that the welfare and rights of the FRs are our utmost priority. These FRs now served as the living testimony that we are doing all our efforts to uplift the welfare and rights of the FRs. The 403rd Brigade—together with its OPCON units—always opens its doors for the rebels who wish to surrender and avail of the E-CLIP. But to those who opted not to surrender, we have no choice but to hunt them down,” Col. Barandon said.
DILG MisOr provincial director Marisia Naybe and Deputy Provincial Director for Police Community Relations P/LtCol Arden Amogod were also present to grace the occasion held at the 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion headquarters in Sitio Migbanday, Poblacion, Claveria, Misamis Oriental.
The 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion that operates in the province of Misamis Oriental is one of the Infantry Battalions operationally controlled by the 403rd Infantry “Peacemaker” Brigade. (403rd Bde, PA/PIA10)