ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 1 June) – A hundred indigenous peoples, specifically of Subanen and S descents, displaced by the war on insurgency in the municipality of Godod in Zamboanga del Norte, as well as another hundred former rebels are to receive housing grants from the national government via the National Housing Authority
This was announced by Armed Forces Chief Cirilito Sobejana following the groundbreaking ceremony in Godod Monday morning.
“Those former rebels who have voluntarily surrendered may qualify as target beneficiaries. Once their documents are complete, they may avail under ECLIP [Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program],” shared Capt. Sotero Abrito, the 102nd Infantry Brigade’s civil-military operations officer.
Per Administrative Order No. 10, series of 2018, former rebels who are qualified under the ECLIP are “those who were regular members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front (NDF) who voluntarily abandoned the armed struggle and opted to become productive members of the society.”
The provinces of Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur have been declared insurgency-free in December 2020 and April 2021, respectively, following intensive campaigns by the 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade under Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas dismantling guerilla fronts in the past two years.
Nicolas said that the series of surrender by communist rebels, along with their firearms, “speaks for the trust and confidence of these former rebels to the commitment and sincerity of the government in its programs for inclusive peace and development.”
Godod Mayor Abel Matildo welcomed the two housing projects as he assured the support of the municipal government led by the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
Vice Mayor Ferdinand Caboverde, on the other hand, expressed appreciation for the support of the Philippine military, specifying Nicolas and Col. Don Templonuevo, former commander of the 44th Infantry Battalion.
It was last February 2 when Matildo signed a memorandum of agreement with the NHA regarding the construction of the 200 housing units for former rebels and the indigenous peoples who were displaced in Barangays Sunawan and Poblacion. (Frencie L. Carreon / MindaNews)