MACO, Davao De Oro (PIA) - Another 58 former rebels, who surrendered in Davao de Oro, received on Monday, February 24, a total of PhP 3.295 million cash assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) and firearm remuneration.
In a ceremony held at the Old Session Hall, Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy turned over to the former rebels the checks that ranges from PhP 15,000 to PhP 150,000.
Governor Uy enjoined the former rebels to work towards lasting peace in the communities of the province.
"Tabangi mi ninyo uban sa mga programa nga ginapakusgan sa probinsiya, which is ang Oplan Pagbabago. Dili kini mamahimong magmalampuson kung naa pay pipila sa atoa nga hantod karon nabulagan pa sa mali nga idelohiya," Governoy Uy stressed. (Help us in the implementation of the program that the province has intensified, which is the Oplan Pagbabago. This will not be successful if there are a number of you, who still keep a blind eye on the wrong ideology (of the communist movement.)
The Governor also challenged the beneficiaries to utilize effectively the benefits they receive for the benefit of their families.
"Dali lang mahurot ang kwarta; pero kung maayo pagpahiluna, dako kaayo nang tabang sa inyo," he added. (The money can easily be spent; but if you plan it well, that will help you enormously.)
The former rebels, who received the cash assistance, were among the surrenderers from the different areas in the province since 2019.
One of the former rebels was alias BART, who got a total PhP150,000 for remuneration of the M16 rifle.
According to Alias BART, he was a former squad leader of the Weakened Guerrilla Front 2 (WGF 2) operating in the hinterlands of Davao de Oro.
He got swayed to laying down his arms as he heard news from their mass base supporters about the benefits received by his former comrades on ECLIP. He also said that he wanted a life away from fear and danger, which endured for more than two years while staying in the communist armed movement.
He reminisced his experiences in armed engagements with the government forces, saying that the most heartbreaking moment is seeing his comrades dying and shouting for help during one of the encounters.
While he was thinking of surrendering, they were told that they will be tortured by the military once they will surrender. However, because of he was sick and tired of all the lies in the communist movement, he planned his escape while patrolling the mountain ranges of Maco-Mabini. He said he ran for almost 13 hours passing several cliffs, creeks and rivers until he reached the nearest barrio in Pantukan. He then surrendered to the 71st Infantry Battalion last 2019.
Meanwhile, Colonel John V Oberio, commander of 1001st Infantry Brigade, urged the remaining members of the communist movement to surrender and abandon the armed struggle.
"Our government is serious in ending this 51-year insurgency problem in our country. Now is the right time that you will embrace peace and avail the ECLIP program and other government programs under Executive Order No 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte, which aim to help you in attaining new beginnings and new lives for yourselves and for your families."
Also present during the ceremony were Colonel Glenn Jun Calambuhay, deputy brigade commander of 1001st Brigade, battalion commanders of the different line units in Davao de Oro, and DILG provincial director Noel Duarte. (PIA11, Michael Uy with inputs from 1001st Infantry Brigade)