5 alleged NPA members from Bukidnon surrender in Cordillera; now back in Bukidnon

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 July) — Five alleged members of the New People’s Army from Bukidnon — aged 17 to 19 — who had earlier surrendered in Abra, Cordillera Administrative Region have been enrolled as beneficiaries of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in their home province.

A press release issued on Sunday by the military’s 4thInfantry Division said the former rebels, had been turned over to the E-CLIP committee of Bukidnon on Saturday and received cash assistance worth P10,000 each from the provincial government.

Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the military’s 403rdInfantry Brigade, said they immediately looked for the families of the former NPA combatants upon learning that they came from the province and coordinated their transfer back to Bukidnon.

The surrenderers were identified by the military though their aliases — Marco and Macoy, both18 years old, 19 year-old Deboni, and Marco and Joma, both 17 years old.

The press release said they surrendered to the 24thIB under 7thInfantry Division based in Barangay Tagodtod, Lagangilang, Abra Province on July 5, 2018.

Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the Army’s 4thInfantry Division, said some members of the New People’s Army have been transferred to other parts of the country to give reinforcement to their dwindling forces.

“NPA terrorists continue to deceive fellow Filipinos just to recruit people and join their failed armed struggle,” he said.

He assured that military is willing to help the NPA fighters who want to surrender and live a normal life with their families.

“We will assist you in your enrolment to E-CLIP and your reintegration to the society” he said.

According to DILG, the E-CLIP is “locally-driven, managed and implemented” program with the Province or Highly Urbanized City (P/HUC) as the focal point of authority and management of the integration program to provide more sustainability and consistency.

Under E-CLIP, each former rebel would receive an immediate assistance of PhP15,000 and livelihood assistance worth P50,000.

The DILG said the program “veers away from the past practice of pre-packaged interventions designed at the national level. It responds to the circumstances, needs and concerns of former rebels through provision of assistance and seeks to consider their basic rights and situations as men and women.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)