By Jerry J. Alcayde
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro – Six former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels received a total of P390,000 livelihood assistance packages under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the national government.
Capt. Christopher Cuenca, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 203rd Brigade said the former communist rebels got P65,000 each during a ceremony at the Filipiniana Hotel here last Wednesday, led by Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr. and other local government and police officials.
“You already have a reason to start a new life, a changed and good one. Never again support or participate in any form of armed struggle,” Gov. Umali told the former NPA rebels who operated in various platoon guerrilla groups in Mindoro.
CLIP focuses on integration of members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front who decided to abandon the armed struggle and rejoined the mainstream society, Cuenca said.
Under the said program, rebels who surrendered to the government with their firearms are given monetary assistance of P15,000 and P50,000 for livelihood projects coupled with trainings and technical support from appropriate government agencies which are also accorded to their dependents to ensure sustainability.
The program is a joint undertaking of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process which is based on a memorandum of agreement signed on May 15, 2014.
Brigidier General Antonio G. Parlade Jr., commander of the 203rd Brigade lauded the local government units and partner agencies for jointly facilitating the release of the fund assistance to the former rebels.