Former rebels in DavNor receive cash assistance

Through the strengthened Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the provincial government of Davao del Norte, 16 former members of New People’s Army (NPA) received cash assistance and firearms remuneration from the government, an army official said on Tuesday.

In a statement to the media, 2 Lt. Amadeus Celestial, civil-military operations officer of 60th Infantry Battalion said a total of P1,105,000.00 cash assistance and firearms remuneration were handed over by Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario to the former rebels in a ceremony held on Monday at the Girl Scouts of the Philippines Training Hall in Mankilam, Tagum City.

The turning over of cash assistance was also witnessed by the heads of various CLIP implementing agencies in the province.

CLIP is a government initiative that seeks to permanently and peacefully end all armed conflicts with armed groups specifically with the NPAs.

“The AFP together with the different local government units (LGUs) will continue to promote the program since custodial debriefing reports of surrendering rebels revealed that it is among the significant factors that NPA members consider,” Celestial said.

With the support of the government now in place, more NPAs have realized the benefits that they and their families will gain if they decide to return to the folds of the law than continue with the armed struggle, he added.

Eight of the total number of former rebels who surrendered through the 68th IB received their cash assistance amounting to P65,000.00 each.

The eight others who yielded to the elements of 60th IB received cash remuneration ranging from P45,000.00 to P214,000.00 for their surrendered firearms.

During last Monday’s ceremony, DILG provincial director Alex Roldan emphasized the sincerity and commitment of the government to the full realization of the peace process.

After the cash assistance were given to the former rebels, the regular Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting was also opened by Governor del Rosario.

The PPOC meeting was also joined by representatives from various line agencies of the government and LGUs.

Primary discussions and updates during the meeting were the progress attained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in their continued support to the on-going peace process. ###