TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Apr. 19 -- As intended beneficiaries of the Executive Order 70 (EO70), a total of 47 former rebels (FRs) from the Province of Agusan del Sur received financial assistance amounting to PhP10,000.00 each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga held on April 15, 2021 at the Naliyagan Cultural Center in Barangay Patin-ay, Prosperidad, this province.
The EO70 is a government policy on "Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communists Armed Conflict" (ELCAC) in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace in our country which aims to address the root causes of insurgency to end local armed conflict in the countryside.
The said FRs are previous members of the New People's Army (NPA) who voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) units operating in the province through the enormous support and collaboration of the Provincial Task Force-ELCAC of AgSur headed by Governor Santiago B. Cane Jr., with the different concerned line agencies.
"The government will always be there to assist our former rebels in terms of financial and livelihood assistance for their reintegration in mainstream society. With that, we believe that they can contribute as good citizens for the prosperity and progress of the whole province of AgSur," Cane said.
Also, said FRs already received benefits during the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Awarding last December 28, 2020. E-CLIP is a government program intended for the re-integration of all members of the CPP-NPA-NDF who will support the peace negotiation program of the government and ultimately lay down their arms to the fold of law.
The COVID-19 health protocols were strictly observed during the said awarding. They also received hygiene kits and other basic household materials.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Allan D. Hambala, commander of 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade, Philippine Army, expressed his appreciation to partner agencies for their unending and generous support for the FRs. "As our peace partners, we appreciate your efforts for working hand in hand with us in the security sector in serving various initiatives to help sustain the needs of the former rebels for them to be reintegrated back to the community, be with their families, and start over with their new lives especially in this pandemic crisis," he said.
"Congratulations to our former rebels who have just received assistance from the government. To our brothers and sisters who are still on the ranks of the CPP-NPA, surrender now and start over. The government is always ready to welcome you," added BGen. Hambala. (26IB, PA/PIA-Agusan del Sur)