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Monday, May 27, 2024

Rebel remnants in Negros Island urged to surrender

By Nanette Guadalquiver

BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (ID) reiterated its call on Thursday for the remaining communist rebels in Negros Island to surrender as more former rebels have received benefits from the government on their path to reintegration.

All five guerrilla fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in both Negros provinces have already been dismantled, according to the 3ID.

Maj. Gen. Marion Sison, commander of 3ID, issued the call after 38 former rebels in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, received financial and educational assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program through the City Social Welfare and Development Office on Wednesday.

“Follow the footsteps of your comrades. Give up the armed struggle, come forward, avail of the government’s integration program,” Sison said in a statement.

The Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or ECLIP grants former rebels a financial package for immediate assistance, provision for the reintegration process, starting capital for livelihood, and remuneration for surrendered firearms.

The 3ID chief said that as Negrenses become more aware and committed to their crucial role as stakeholders in achieving stable internal peace and security, they expect that more members of the CPP-NPA will choose to embrace peace and positive transformation.

Col. Victor Llapitan, deputy commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, urged the former rebels to help the government convince the remaining rebels to return to the fold of the law and reunite with their families.

The assistance to the 38 former rebels, comprised of PHP10,000 cash assistance for each of the 27 recipients and educational support for 11 others, was turned over during a ceremony led by Mayor Rogelio Raymund Tongson Jr. at the City Hall.

Of the number, 34 surrendered to the 94th Infantry Battalion while two each turned themselves in through the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine National Police.

“The financial and educational assistance extended to the former rebels is solid proof that the Himamaylan local government unit is sincere in its commitment allowing former rebels to start anew and reintegrate with the community,” Llapitan said. (PNA)

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