VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, Jan. 15 (PIA) - - Ten former members of the Militia ng Bayan (MB) in the province who recently surrendered to the authorities along with a former recipient were given financial assistance under the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
Each former MB member received P15,000 Immediate Assistance while the former E-CLIP recipient who used to be a former Cadre of the New People's Army (NPA), received P50,000-worth of firearm remuneration in a ceremony held at the TESDA Ilocos Sur Provincial Office in Vigan City Thursday, January 14.
Administered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Ilocos Sur, Reintegration Assistance was also given to the 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion of the Philippine Army which is being used for the expenses of former rebels who have been placed under the protection of government troops while processing their other benefits under the E-CLIP.
E-CLIP AWARDING: Recipients of the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) after the awarding ceremony held at the provincial office of TESDA-Ilocos Sur, Vigan City. (jmcq/pia)
In his message, 81st IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Marinas, Jr., asked for the cooperation of the former rebels and supporters of CPP-NPA to help end local communist armed conflict not just in the province but in the whole country by supporting the government's peace and development efforts.
"Magtulungan po tayo. Kasama ng COVID-19 na kinakaharap natin ngayon, may isa pang virus na matagal na nating nilalabanan - ito ay ang insurgency virus. For 52 years, alam nating lahat na perwisyo lang ang naidulot ng insurgency virus na ito. Takot lang ang dulot nito at perwisyo lang ang naibigay sa mga komunidad. Hamon ito sa atin ngayong 2021. Sana ma-engganyo natin ang iba na andun sa kabundokan na bumaba na at magbalik-loob na sa gobyerno. Kailangan namin ang inyong tulong para sa kapayapaan dito sa Ilocos Sur at sa buong Pilipinas," Lt. Col. Marinas said.
Moreover, DILG Ilocos Sur Provincial Director Reggie Colisao lauded the former rebels for deciding to return to the fold of the law and assured the continuous assistance from the national government especially with the strengthened implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order No. 70.
"May second at third batch pa na makatatanggap ng assistance under E-CLIP this year. Tuloy-tuloy itong programa, hanggang sa may nagbabalik-loob, tuloy-tuloy ang mga assistance na binibigay ng gobyerno sa kanila," she said.
Since 2015, DILG-Ilocos Sur has so far distributed a total of P4.12M worth of immediate and livelihood assistance and remuneration to 67 former rebels who surrendered to government forces deployed in Ilocos Sur.
Also present were Salcedo Mayor Leopoldo Gironella, Sta. Cruz Mayor Teresita Valle who was represented by SBM Renato Quilop along with heads and/or representatives from partner agencies namely: DILG, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Social Welfare and Development in Ilocos Sur, and the Philippine National Police.
Meanwhile, the youth in Southern Leyte are performing their role in putting an end to insurgency caused by the CPP-NPA-NDF, according to Youth for Peace Southern Leyte President Joy Fin Gesulga during the Laging Handa Network Briefing Thursday.
"For this year we will be focusing on putting an end to the CPP-NPA-NDF in Southern Leyte and in Leyte. Our programs will be on ending the problems brought about by these communist terrorist groups," she said.
"In Southern Leyte we've conducted two peace camps and we still have 16 more municipalities where we will conduct these," she added. (JCR/JMQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)