(Eagle News) — Seventeen members of the Commmunist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army recently surrendered to the government, and turned over their firearms, several improvised explosive devices (EID) and ammunition.
In return, they were given P60,000 each in cash and livelihood assistance to start a new life with their families as part of mainstream society.
Major Gen. Andres Centino, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said that the CPP-NPA had been hurt recently with the many rebels returning to the fold of the law, the most recent of whom were the 17 NPA members from Bukidnon and Lanao provinces.
“Right now, malaki ang nabawas in terms of strength ng kalaban. 17 ang nabawas,” he said.
-PHL Army hopes more NPA rebels will surrender-
“Sana maging ehemplo or example itong ginawang pagbaba ng ating mga kapatid na nandito ngayon, for the others also to come down,” Centino said, urging more of the NPA rebels to leave the communist movement.
“The government has prepared several programs, several financial and livelihood assistance para matulungan na makabalik sa mainstream society ang mga dating rebelde,” he added.
Aside from the financial and livelihood assistance, they were given a sack of rice each, more food items, among others. The cash and food assistance came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the office of the Governor.
“This cannot be solved by one president in one term,” said Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri as he stressed the importance of continuing efforts to counter the insurgency problem.
(with a video report from Pepito Artianza, Eagle News Service correspondent)