By Freddie Lazaro
CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela – Seven former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were able to get their benefits from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in a simple ceremony at the capitol, Ilagan City on Friday.
Major General Pablo M. Lorenzo, the commander of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division, said the seven recipients of the E-CLIP surrendered recently in San Mariano, Isabela to joint operatives of the 502nd Infantry Brigade under the Fifth Infantry Division, and Isabela Provincial Police Office (IPPO).
Lorenzo said the immediate livelihood assistance and the firearms’ remuneration were components of the government’s E-CLIP.
Lorenzo also said the surrender of the seven NPA rebels was one of the positive impacts of the “Balik – Loob Program” in line with the President Duterte’s Whole-of-Nation Approach under Executive Order No. 70 to attain inclusive and sustainable peace by creating a national taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
“I express my deepest gratitude to these former rebels (FRs) for their voluntary surrender and to the provincial government of Isabela headed by Governor Albano for their wholesome support to our endeavors by extending assistance and employment to the Former Rebels. I also encourage our FRs to convince their former comrades who are still in the hinterlands to follow their example of joining the mainstream society and accepting the government’s E-CLIP Program to live a well-deserved peaceful life with families and loved ones. Let us work together to attain peace, progress and development for our province, Isabela,” Lorenzo asid.
The handover of E-CLIP benefits in checks was spearheaded by Isabela Governor Rodito T. Albano III together with Major General Lorenzo, Brigadier General Laurence Mina, commander of the 502nd Brigade; Provincial DILG Director Corazon Toribio, and Police Colonel Mariano Rodriguez, Isabela police director.
Governor Albano III, said that the E-CLIP benefits is insufficient to sustain the former rebel’s (FRs) daily needs; thus, he will ensure their employment as the whole government of province of Isabela is always there to support every FRs in starting their new life.