By Joseph Jubelag
ALABEL, SARANGANI – The government has lured former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender with livelihood and cash assistance.
1Lt. Gerry Maborrang, civil military operations officer of Army’s 73th Infantry Battalion, said the provincial government of Sarangani has released P50,000 to at least eight NPA rebels who surrendered and turned in their firearms last year.
He said the surrenderers were members of NPA Guerilla Front 71 operating in Sarangani and Davao Occidental.
He said the former rebels, most of whom are B’laan tribesmen from Malapatan town, will also receive livelihood assistance, scholarship and housing benefits under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.
Sarangani Gov. Steve Solon said the provincial government had established a halfway house for former rebels where they can stay as they prepare for their assimilation with the mainstream society.
Solon said more than 200 NPA rebels in Sarangani and Davao Occidental have yielded since 2014.
In Davao Occidental, Gov. Claude Bautista dangled an assistance package ranging from P100,000 to P1 million to communist insurgents who lay down their arms.
Maborrang said six former rebels were given P65,00 each by the provincial government of Davao Occidental during the oath taking ceremony Friday of the newly-elected provincial officials at the provincial capitol in Malita, Davao Occidental.