By Francis Wakefield
Five communist terrorists, who surrendered to troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 in Sultan Kudarat on February 11, will be receiving benefits under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or (E-CLIP).
Brigadier General Eugenio Hernandez, the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (1st MBbe) Commander, said the communist terrorist decided to yield to troops in Kalamansig due to their intensified military operations and information campaign on the E-CLIP.
Eugenio said the former rebels belong to the Dulangan-Manobo tribe.
Marine troops presented the former rebels to Mayor Ronan Eugene Garcia of the town of Kalamansig.
They will receive E-CLIP benefits, such as free housing, reintegration program worth P21, 000, livelihood assistance worth P50, 000 free college educations, and other government benefits.
The former rebels claimed they were deceived by the NPA. They were given arms and false promises to fight the government, they added.
Mayor Garcia said the former rebels will be given jobs and may be recruited as members of the Civilian Active Auxiliary to become productive citizens.
The surrender is one way of encouraging other communist rebels to surrender to the government, added Brigadier General Hernandez.
“We will continue to do our mandate to keep the peace and prosperity in the municipalities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said military troops work with line agencies and local government units to advance the government’s thrust to assist and reintegrate former rebels.
“With our internal security campaign and our community support program, we hope that we may enlighten and convince other rebels to leave the battleground and to ponder the government’s sincere efforts to lend a hand and to address insurgency in Mindanao,” he said.