No aid for rebels, law breakers under Davao’s ‘Lingap’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 March) – Members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and law offenders may not avail of medical and funeral assistance from the city government under its “Lingap para sa Mahirap” (Care for the Poor), an executive order signed by City Mayor Sara Duterte last week said.

A statement released by the City Information Office on Tuesday said the mayor signed Executive Order No. 7 on March 14, amending section 3 of EO 35 series of 2016 tto further “strengthen the program’s processes and to ensure the efficient delivery of its services to qualified residents of Davao City.”

Excluded from Lingap’s services are motorcycle drivers and passengers who are injured in road crashes for violating traffic laws, NPA members who are injured in clashes with government troops, drivers involved in road crashes for drunken driving, individuals who suffer injuries while committing a crime or other offenses, and patients in maternity cases, except those having medical issues involving newborn babies.

Davao City Hall. June 2017 photo from the City Government of Davao FB page

On November 23 last year, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 360, calling off the peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), two days before the supposed fifth round of formal peace negotiations on November 25 to 27 in Oslo, Norway. The NDF represents the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the NPA in the talks.

The President canceled the peace talks following the NPA ambush on a police patrol vehicle in Bukidnon last November 9 that left two dead, including four-month old Walysha Machorao, and six people injured.

On December 5, Duterte issued Proclamation 374 declaring the NPA and the CPP as terrorist organizations pursuant to RA No. 10168, also known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2002.

Lingap started in July 2001 under then mayor Rodrigo Duterte. It provides medical assistance, food supplements and hospital services to Davao residents, especially those belonging to indigent families and the indigenous people. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)