By Mike Crismundo
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army (CPP-NPA) were assured that they will receive assistance through the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
“I assure the surrenderers that the government will help them live a peaceful life thru our E-CLIP program and we will continue to work with all stakeholders in line with the government’s “Whole of Nation Approach to end local communist armed conflict,” said Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commanding general of the AFP’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID).
Currently, some CPP-NPA members, who were received by the different Army units last week, are undergoing assessment and interview for their enrolment into the E-CLIP.
The units in charge in Caraga region are now conducting interview of the surrenderers in preparation for their enrolment into E-CLIP and to qualify for other government assistance.
Last week (April 19), an 18-year-old surrendered to the Third Special Forces Battalion (3rdSFBn) in Lianga, Surigao del Sur. He brought with him a cal. 5.56mm M16 Armalite Rifle.
Six more regular NPA members, 14 Militia ng Bayan and 30 other members of the underground mass organizations also voluntarily surrendered to field unit of the 3rdSFBn in Sibagat, Agusan Del Sur on Holy Thursday (April 18). They also brought with them a M653 rifle, a .22-caliber rifle, six 12-gauge homemade shotguns, two .38-caliber pistols, and one fragmentation grenade.
On Wednesday (April 17), another 18-year old CPP-NPA Platoon medical officer surrendered and brought along with a cal. 30 M1 Carbine rifle, one shotgun, and medical supplies.
On the same day, a couple who were members of the NPA in North Central Mindanao, surrendered to Lt. Col. Ronald M. Illana, commander of the 8th IB in Barangay Poblacion, Impasugong, Bukidnon.
Gacal lauded the efforts of the communities and military units for the surrender of the CPP-NPA members who were only deceived to join the organization.