7 former NPA rebels in Zambales get gov’t aid

Some seven former Communist Party of the Philippines–New People's Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in Zambales received livelihood assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Lt. Col. Jeszer Bautista, acting commanding officer of the Army’s 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, said on Monday the former rebels got a total of PHP405,000.

He said the Army is always open to accepting members of CPP-NPA who want to surrender and start a peaceful life with their families.

“Ito ay isang buhay na patotoo na mayroong pag-asang nakaabang sa mga susuko at magbabalik loob na mga rebelde, hindi pa huli ang lahat, huwag ninyong sayangin ang pagkakataong makasama ang inyong mga pamilya. Mayroong programa at benepisyo na inilaan ang pamahalaan, makipag tulungan upang atin nang makamit ang ganap na kapayapaan at tuloy tuloy na kaunlaran (This is a living testimony that hope awaits those rebels who want to surrender. It is never too late. Do not waste the opportunity to be with your family. Some programs and benefits are reserved by the government. Cooperate to attain peace and continuous progress),” Bautista said in a statement.

Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. acknowledged the commitment of the former rebels who opted to lay down their arms and return to mainstream society.

“Kaya sana, ito’y simula ng bagong buhay. Kalimutan na natin ang nakaraan, isipin natin ang kinabukasan ng ating mga anak (Hopefully, this will be the start of new life. Let us forget the past and think about the future of our children,” Ebdane said.

Maj. Gen. Andrew Costelo, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division (7ID), urged the former rebels to use the financial assistance they received in meaningful ways.

“I hope that the amount you receive will be the stepping stone you need to start a peaceful life with your family. Our government is always here to help our fellow Filipino who have been deceived by our enemy. Let us warmly welcome them as they embrace the life they once wish to have,” Costelo said.

The CPP-NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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