21 former Red fighters get livelihood assistance

Twenty-one former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to 403rd Infantry Brigade received more than a million in financial assistance on Tuesday.

Capt. Norman Tagros, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, told TIMES that a total of P 1,578,500 worth of financial assistance were given to 21 former members of the NPA in a simple ceremony in Bukidnon.

They received the aid under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of Bukidnon. They surrendered in the second semester of 2017 and the first semester of 2018 to the troops of the 403rd Infantry Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division.

Out of 21 former rebels, 20 of them received their respective immediate and livelihood assistance amounting to P65,000.

Meanwhile, 10 individuals among the same group received additional cash assistance as remuneration for the firearms that they have surrendered.

In her message during the ceremony, Glenda Hope A. Beley, program manager and E-CLIP provincial focal person of DILG-Bukidnon, encouraged the former guerrillas to put the assistance to good use and become advocates of peace.

“We would like to encourage our former rebels to use your money wisely. Moreover, we enjoin you to become agents of change and advocates of peace,” Beley said.

Meanwhile, Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon, deputy brigade commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, assured the rebels of the sincerity of the government to help them reclaim their lives.

“The Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program is a genuine program that seeks to assist our surrenderers through cash and livelihood assistance, employment opportunities, housing grants, and PhilHealth benefits,” he said.

Also present during the ceremony, were Sr. Supt. Benedicto T Pintor, the provincial director of the Bukidnon Police Provincial Office; and Leo D. Villahermosa, E-CLIP focal person of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Bukidnon.

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