Sunday, May 10, 2020

16 former rebels reintegrate to communities in N. Samar

From the Philippine Information Agency (May 10, 2020): 16 former rebels reintegrate to communities in N. Samar (By 20IB, 8ID, PA)

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LAS NAVAS, Northern Samar, May 10 -- After three months of stay at “DARANGPAN” in Northern Samar, some 16 former rebels (FRs) have officially regained their civil rights as Filipino citizens and reintegrated back to their communities.

Said FRs were provided with cash assistance, rice and foodstuffs by the provincial government of Northern Samar through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) during the send-off ceremony held in Catarman, Northern Samar on May 5.

Major Alex Alod of 20IB and Ms. Mercy Castillo of Northern Samar Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office handover the cash assistance and foodstuff to one of the former rebels. (20IB)

“DARANGPAN” is a Waray term for shelter, a home for social integration also called a halfway house. It is a civilian facility which serves as Center for reintegration of former rebels who expressed the desire to return into the folds of the law. It is meant to facilitate the systematic assessment, processing, delivery of immediate intervention and development of individual reintegration plans, program and services for the spiritual and moral healing, and transformation of former rebels.

Seven of the 16 FRs are residents of the town of Palapag, while nine FRs are from the town of Mapanas, Northern Samar. They were received by their respective local government units upon their return to their localities.

Lawyer Francis John Tejano, Municipal Mayor of Mapanas welcomed the nine FRs together with their families who accompanied them in Darangpan.

Mayor Francis John Tejano of Mapanas, Northern Samar exchanging ppleasantries with the former rebels upon their arrival at the town's municipal hall. (20IB)

“I officially welcome the nine former rebels who submit themselves back to the folds of the law. I am glad that they chose to live a peaceful life, of which, the LGU of Mapanas, Northern Samar is here to embrace them and share with them the good governance under my leadership,” Mayor Tejano, said.

Lieutenant Colonel Juan Gullem, the 20th Infantry Battalion commander appeal to the remaining NPAs in the area to avail of the program of the government.

"To the remaining NPAs in my area of operations, I urge you to take advantage of the government’s social integration program. It will provide you an opportunity to live peacefully in the company of your families and loved ones. A reality that is denied to you by the failed promises of the NPA leaders and communist cadres for the sake of their personal interest,” Lieutenant Colonel Gullem added.

It can be recalled that on April 23, 2020 high-powered firearms, ammunitions, explosives, medical supplies/medicines, and subversive documents were recovered when the operating troops of the 20th Infantry Battalion overran an NPA lair in Brgy. P. Rebadulla, Catubig, Northern Samar. It also resulted to the death of an armed NPA and recovery of one (1) KG-9 submachinegun in a 5-minute firefight during a follow through encounter in said place on April 27, 2020. (20IB, 8ID, PA)

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