50 ex-rebels in Bukidnon get P2.7-million cash aid

At least 50 former rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA) who have surrendered to military authorities, received cash assistance of more than PHP2.7 million on Friday.

The cash assistance was part of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) intended to help former rebels start a new life with their families.

Given at the headquarters of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) in Malaybalay City, the awarding of the cash assistance was attended by representatives of the regional offices of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as local police and military authorities.

Two of the beneficiaries, couple Dival and Jenecel, brought their M16 rifles when they yielded. The couple received cash assistance of PHP400,000, which they said would help them start a new life with their two children.

DILG 10 (Northern Mindanao) Assistant Director Yvette Tolentino-Sunga called on the recipients to use the cash assistance properly.

“Please use your money wisely. That is not a payment for your surrender but assistance from the government to help you start a new life. The ECLIP is not going to be forever,” Sunga said.

She said the former rebels would also receive livelihood training and educational assistance from the government.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, 8IB commander, said the unit remains eager to accept NPA rebels who want to surrender and avail of the benefits under ECLIP. (PNA)