ILIGAN CITY (PIA)-City Mayor Celso Regencia on Monday, August 2, welcomed three formers fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) and assured them of government assistance and protection as they begin to reintegrate back to the community.
The three NPA members operating under the Sentro De Grabidad Platoon DOVE of Guerilla Front 88 are from Agusan del Sur but decided to yield to the government authorities in Iligan City on August 1.
“Wala mo masayop nga dinhi motahan sa inyong kaugalingon ug atong paningkamutan nga mahatag sa inyo ang atong tabang,” Regencia said during the presentation of the surrenderees to the City Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (CTF-ELCAC).
[You are not mistaken to surrender here and we will try to give you our assistance.]
The mayor instructed the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the city to fast-track the processing of the surrenderees firearms remuneration and other benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“Akong instruction para duna pay laing mga grupo o mga tawo nga moanhi dinhi sa Iligan pinaagi sa 4th Mechanized Battalion ug 2nd Mechanized Brigade, ug daghan pang mosunod, hatagan gyud ni ug hinanali nga pagtangad para makaingon sila nga tinud-anay ang programa sa gobyerno nga modawat og nagsurrender ug mobalik sa sabakan sa panggobyerno,” he said.
[My instruction so that more groups or people would come here to Iligan through the 4th Mechanized Battalion and 2nd Mechanized Brigade, and many would follow, this should be given immediate attention so that they can say that the government program to accept surrenderees and those returning to the government fold is genuine.]
DILG Iligan City Program Manager and E-CLIP Focal Person Elizabeth Buna said the formers rebels will also receive P15,000 immediate assistance and P50,000 livelihood assistance each under E-CLIP apart from access to other government services such as medical, skills training, civil registration, and employment opportunities, among others.
Meanwhile, Regencia hopes that the decision of the three former rebels to return to the folds of the law would encourage other NPA members to follow suit.
To date, a total of 40 NPA members have already surrendered to the Iligan CTF-ELCAC. (APB/PIA-ICIC)