Tuesday, August 6, 2019

38 ex-NPA rebels in DavNor get gov't assistance

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6, 2019): 38 ex-NPA rebels in DavNor get gov't assistance

IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE. Former communist rebels receive various forms of assistance, as well as cash aid, during a turnover ceremony held at the 60th Infantry Battalion in Asuncion town, Davao del Norte, Tuesday (August 6). (PNA photo by Che Palicte)

ASUNCION, Davao del Norte -- Some 38 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) received food and non-food aid, as well as cash assistance, in a turnover ceremony held at the Army's 60th Infantry Battalion (60IB) here on Tuesday.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) provided the assistance, and the provincial government of Davao del Norte gave the former rebels PHP2,000 each.

According to Oliver Binancilan, OPAPP program manager in Davao Region and Caraga, most of the 38 former rebels surrendered to the 60IB and was presented to President Rodrigo Duterte in July 16, 2019.

“The assistance will not only be limited here, as we also provided medical assistance to their families,”
Binancilan said.

Binancilan said OPPAP is currently embarking on a program that would provide the FR community a comprehensive and integrated program that is sustainable and that provides durable solutions for them to start a new life.

“We are also considering the need for a water system, schools, health centers, day care centers and hospitals on the planned community,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino, commander of 10th Infantry Division, said the inter-agency effort of the government to end the communist armed conflict is already bearing fruits and that the "best practices" are now being implemented in Luzon and Visayas.

Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib vowed to support the former NPA members, saying some of them can find work at the Capitol.

Jubahib also urged the former rebels to encourage their fellow former comrades to return to the fold of the law and live normal lives.

During the turnover ceremony, a former NPA combatant only identified as “Cel” said they lost faith with the communist rebel movement after it failed to deliver its promise of financial support for their families.

“We found out that all of those are false promises. We experienced hunger and anxiety there,” she said.

She also called on the remaining rebels to "embrace the essence of freedom" and start their new lives "with hope and acceptance in the community."


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