By Francis Wakefield
The military today said 12 former New People’s Army (NPA) members who surrendered to the government received cash assistance and firearms remuneration during a simple ceremony held yesterday at Camp Osito D. Bahian, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Captain Norman M. Tagros, the Civilian Military Officer of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, said the program dubbed “Pagbalik sa Sabakan” provides financial assistance to returning communist rebels.
Of the 12 former NPA members, five were regular members who received P65,000 and firearms remuneration each, while the eight others were members of the NPA’s Militia ng Bayan who each received remunerations for the firearms they surrendered.
The government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) offers livelihood assistance amounting to P50,000 and immediate cash assistance of P15,000 to NPA members who would surrender including a remuneration for each firearm brought. Moreover, it offers a reintegration package that includes livelihood and capacity development trainings.
The CLIP committee of Bukidnon headed by Brigadier General Eric C. Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade and co-chair of the committee, together with Richard D. Macas, provincial IP mandatory representative, and the representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, facilitated the giving of the CLIP assistance.
In his message during the event, Vinoya emphasized the government’s genuine program for the NPA members who would opt to surrender through the CLIP.
He also urged other NPA members who still remain misguided by the CPP-NPA-NDF to go back to the folds of the law.
“I am deeply pleased and thankful that today, our brothers who are former NPA members received their assistance from the government through the CLIP of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process or OPAPP,” Vinoya said.
“With this, I urge all those NPA members who still remain victims of the futility of the armed struggle and misguided by the ill propaganda of the NPA leaders to go down, surrender and live your lives peacefully.”
“We are here to assist you. Now is the right time and you should take this opportunity because our government, through our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is offering you a comprehensive surrender program where you can have the benefits of cash and livelihood assistance, capacity development, housing, and employment,” he added.
Tags: 12 former NPA members receive cash assistance, Comprehensive Local Integration Program, CPP-NPA, Department of the Interior and Local Government, livelihood assistance, Malaybalay City, Manila Bulletin