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DILG reintegrates 3 rebel returnees

“DILG PD Visitacion Giva addressing the rebel returnees during the reintegration ceremony on Feb 13, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Penelope Añosa Bulan Pomida)

BORONGAN CITY, February 15, 2018–Three former NPA members operating in the northern part of the province received financial assistance from the DILG, under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program or CLIP.

The three received P65,000 each, representing the immediate aid of P15,000 and P50,00 in livelihood assistance. One of the former rebels received an additional P15,500 as remuneration for turning over a firearm.

“We heartily welcome you to the society, and the government is giving you a chance to be a part of it”, said DILG PD Visitacion Giva during a ceremony held in February 13 at the DILG in Borongan. “Together with the Philippine Army, we will work to bring you back to the mainstream of society and to rebuild your lives”.

“There are plenty of livelihood opportunities that you can avail, and the department will assist you and check on you regularly,” Giva said.

She lauded the former rebels for their bravery and for trusting the government and the program. Giva said that “we are looking for others who would also like to return and we hope you can help them be reintegrated to our society”.

Before receiving their financial assistance, the former rebels took their oath “Pagbabalik Loob sa Pamahalaan” before officials of the DILG and the Philippine Army, where they pledged allegiance to the government and the Constitution.

Lt. Col. Manuel Leo Gador, commander of the 14th IB of the Philippine Army said that CLIP, “is the first step for rebels who want to rejoin the the government to have the chance to live in peace and get the services they ask from the government”.

He added, “Maintaining peace in the community is not only the responsibility of the government, but it is the obligation of every Filipino”.

Alias “Jennifer”, the youngest among the former rebels expressed her gratitude for this chance to lead a normal life.

“I was only 12 when I was recruited. It was a difficult life. I was unable to go to school”. She is thankful for the livelihood assistance that will give her a chance to have a better life.

They underwent the training of FRs on values formation and livelihood project management.

CLIP is the governments’s program aimed at permanently resolving the decades-long conflict with the NPA. (Eden Cidro/Este News)

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