by Joseph T. Jubelag
General Santos City — Fourteen former members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who earlier surrendered to military authorities, received a total of P700,000 as livelihood assistance.
Lt. Col. Ronnie Babac, 73rd Infantry Battalion commander, said the funds were sourced out by the provincial government of Davao del Sur from its Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) that has been designed to provide intervention for former rebels who wish to return to mainstream society.
Babac said the former NPA rebels used to belong to a local guerrilla unit operating in the boundary of Davao del Sur and Sarangani provinces.
He said the former rebels will receive P50,000 each that they can use as capital in livelihood projects.
Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas led the distribution of the checks to the beneficiaries last Thursday.
“With the distribution of livelihood package to former rebels, I am calling the other members of the NPA to avail of this program and live a normal in the mainstream society,” Babac said.
Col. Tyne Banas, 1002nd Brigade commander, said the CLIP project was a convergence effort of the military, local government units and concerned national government agencies to undertake intervention programs and initiatives to entice local insurgents to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law.