Freddie G. Lazaro
SAN FERNANDO CITY -Ten former members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who surrendered to Philippine Army in Ilocos Sur in the last quarter of 2016, have received their cash benefits and assistance through the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday.
Lieutenant Col. Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV, commander of the Philippine Army’s 81st Infantry Battalion which covers the provinces of La Union, Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte, said that a total amount of P807,000.00 cash assistance was jointly handed-over by Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis V. Singson and Major General Angelito M. De Leon, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” division, in a simple ceremony at the provincial capitol.
De Leon emphasized that the CLIP is a complete package program for NPA rebels and active supporters (Milisyang Bayan), who want to go back to the folds of government and start a peaceful and productive new life.
“It is the duty of the public officials to ensure that every program on peace and development initiative of the government is well delivered and implemented to the concerned individual. This is a concrete proof of collaborative efforts of all concerned government officials and agencies for the delivery of government programs to the people,” De Leon said.
He said that the awarding of the cash assistance to 10 former rebels shows the sincerity of the government to end the conflict between the CPP-NPA-NDF and to focus on law enforcement efforts in bringing peace and development in the country.
“Despite the obstacles and challenges, we must continue our efforts in ushering lasting peace and true development in our area of responsibility by delivering the government programs and services to the people,” said De Leon.
For his part, Osias, who initiated the surrender of the NPA rebels, gave an emphasis on implementing government programs and said: “NPA rebels are also victims of false ideology, let us always open the avenues and communications in sustaining programs for them and for the people’s well-being.”
Meanwhile, Col. Milfredo M Melegrito, commander of the Army’s 702nd Infantry brigade said: “As a defender of peace and development, let us give our utmost sincerity in delivering programs and services to the people, to include the NPA rebels.” (JNDP/FGL/PIA-1)