50 Former Rebels from Bukidnon receive reintegration assistance from the government
Malaybalay City, Bukidnon | 20 December 2018 — Fifty (50) former rebels (FRs) who are mostly members of the Indigenous Cultural Communities / Indigenous Peoples / (ICCs/IPs) here received reintegration assistance from the Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) yesterday, just in time for their celebration of Christmas with their families. Thirty-three of them are formerly regular members of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) while the other 17 served as Militia ng Bayan (MBs).
Each FR received Php 65,000.00 comprising of immediate assistance worth Php 15,000.00 and livelihood assistance worth P50,000.00. Some of them also received firearms remuneration amounting to Php 601,200.00 for the 12 high-powered and 13 low-powered firearms they turned-in to the Philippine National Police, bringing the total amount of assistance to Php 2,076,200.00.
These benefits were paid in checks and were handed-over to the FRs by Governor Jose Maria R. Zubiri, Jr., Chairman of the Provincial E-CLIP Committee in Bukidnon, along with TFBL Chairperson and Defense Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs Reynaldo B. Mapagu, E-CLIP Focal Person of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region X, Ms. Glenda Beley; Social Welfare Officer of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region X; Ms. Matet Dayata, MGen Ronald Villanueva, Commander, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army; and Col Edgardo De Leon, Commander, 403rd Infantry Brigade.
Governor Zubiri led the Oath of Allegiance of the FRs, and thanked them for putting back their trust to the government. He also assured them that he will personally talk with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte regarding the Ancestral Domain claims of the IP FRs.
Usec. Mapagu commended the province of Bukidnon for facilitating for the second time the awarding of benefits to FRs under the E-CLIP. The first was held on August 7, 2018, coinciding with the declaration of the Province as a Conflict Manageable and Ready for Further Development (CMRFD) through the recommendation of the Philippine Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade. He thanked all the FRs for deciding to return to the folds of the law and more importantly to go back to their families especially this Christmas season. Usec Mapagu also enjoined them to convince their former comrades who are still hiding in the mountains to follow what they have done and live a peaceful life with their families.
“Ang tanan nga madawat ninyo, dili na premyo sa pag-surrender. Tabang ni ug pagpasalamat namo sa pag-tuo ninyo sa amo nga pag-imbita kaninyo aron makabalik mo tanan sa inyohang pamilya. ug unta, tabangi mi ug pag imbita sa inyong kauban nga nabilin pa sa kalihukan. Ingna nga hapit na ang Pasko. Unta mubalik pud sila, aron malipayon pud ang ilang pasko. Na-a mi ug Christmas campaign nga nag-imbita sa ila sa radyo, sa t-v ug sa sinehan. Pero ang tulong ninyo sa pagkumbinsi sa kanila ay malaking bagay rin. Kung may kakilala kayo na may kamag-anak, o kayo mismo ay may kamag-anak na miyembro ng NPA, imbitahin ninyo sila na tawagan ang Task Force Balik-Loob. (Everything that you receive from the TFBL is not a reward for your surrender. This is our assistance and way of showing our gratitude that you heeded our call for you to rejoin your family. And we hope that you would help us in inviting your former comrades who are still in the mountains. We hope that they would follow your act so they will also have a happy Christmas. We have a Christmas campaign in radio, television and cinemas. But your help in convincing them will be a big factor. If you, or if you know of people who have relatives who are members of the NPA, invite them to call the Task Force Balik-Loob),” Usec. Mapagu said.
The E-CLIP provides a wide array of benefits based on the particular needs of FRs and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, legal assistance, among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.
The TFBL, an inter-agency body, monitors and assesses the implementation of E-CLIP at the local government level. Established pursuant to Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte, the TFBL is a whole-of-government body that includes the Department of National Defense (DND), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of the President, National Housing Authority (NHA) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP) as among its lead agencies, and other government agencies and instrumentalities as partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to FRs.