By Francis Wakefield
The third batch of Former Rebels (FR) who will dine with the President in Malacañang flew to Manila today via two Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft at Davao City International Airport and Bancasi Airport, Butuan City.
Maj. Ezra L. Balagtey, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said the group is composed of 190 FRs from Regions 12 and 13, provinces of Davao Del Sur and Davao Del Norte and some from Davao City.
They are part of the 683 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels from different parts of Eastern Mindanao who were presented to President Duterte on December 21, 2017 at Panacan, Davao City.
Balagtey said the activity is part of the continuing activity of reintegrating the former rebels in the mainstream society and giving them a better perspective on life.
The FRs will be toured to Luneta Park and Intramuros for their historical and heritage trip. They will be welcomed at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City tomorrow and will be hosted by AFP chief of staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
Prior to their dinner with the President, they will also get a chance to interact with other former NPA members who now work and advocate peace and development.
The tour is expected to end on March 7 as the FRs will return to Davao City and Butuan City via C-130 aircraft.
Meanwhile, fomer female rebels who are part of the 683 will be having a special tour to Hong Kong at a date still to be determined. Their papers are now being processed.