Año urges NPA rebels to surrender anew; “Hindi kayo pababayaan ng pamahalaan,” he assures

(Eagle News)-The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Friday, Aug. 16, urged New People’s Army rebels anew to surrender and return to “mainstream society.”

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reiterated his call after the alleged recruitment by Communists of students in schools took centerstage in a hearing held by the Senate panel on public order and dangerous drugs this week.

During the hearing, a former rebel, “Allen,” also  disclosed the NPA did not give her any assistance when she asked for it after giving birth and when her child got sick.

“That is the harsh truth. Walang pakialam ang NPA sa kapakanan ng kanilang mga miyembro. They are just mere dispensable pawns in the CPP-NPA-NDF’s senseless advocacy to overthrow the government through armed struggle,” Año said.

According to Año, with the rebels’ return to their families,  “nakatitiyak kayo na hindi kayo pababayaan ng ating pamahalaan.”

He said under the  Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, all former rebels will be given assistance to help them “regain the years in the mountains which the NPA have taken from them.”

He said so far, 2,129 former rebels (1,505 NPA and 624 Militia ng Bayan) availed of the benefits of E-CLIP from the 2018 and 2019 budget.

He said for 2020, a P121-million fund for E-CLIP was requested from the Department of Budget and Management.

“Mga estudyante pa lamang ang mga ito nung na-recruit nila, sinira nila ang kinabukasan. Now that they decide to return to the fold of the law, we will guarantee that they will not feel abandoned,” Año said.