E-CLIP better option than fighting gov’t forces: DND official

Surrendering and availing of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) is a better option than battling it out with better trained and equipped government troops, a Department of National Defense (DND) official said Wednesday.

"Returning to the fold of the law is still the better option for members of the New People's Army (NPA) and Militia ng Bayan (MB) members rather than living in the mountains and fighting against more heavily equipped and better-trained government forces," Defense Undersecretary and Task Force Balik Loob (TFBL) chairperson Reynaldo Mapagu said in a statement.

He said surrendering is the better option for these communist rebels and supporters as the military vowed to conduct a more aggressive campaign against them.

Earlier, newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. vowed to pursue an aggressive campaign against the communist terrorists.

With this, the TFBL chair said the New People's Army (NPA) will have little to no chance at all to win against determined government security forces.

If the NPA and MB members surface now, they are guaranteed to preserve their lives, and at the same time, can be reunited with their families, Mapagu said.

"They can also enroll in the E-CLIP and avail of its benefits, which are not only for them but for their family members as well, Mapagu added.

Benefits under the E-CLIP include cash assistance, education, livelihood training, housing, and employment assistance, as well as loan processing for business capital.

He also guaranteed that he, together with the lead and partner agencies of TFBL, will continue to work together to expedite the granting of benefits to all former rebels.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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