Thursday, December 8, 2022

Former rebels in Laguna receive E-CLIP benefits

SANTA CRUZ, Laguna (PIA) — At least six former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) from Laguna received their benefits under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Progam (E-CLIP) of the government.

Each former rebel received cash benefits worth P65,000 during the Laguna Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) Meeting held on Monday, May 2.

The cash benefits personally awarded by the task force’s officials include P15,000 immediate assistance and P50,000 livelihood assistance to help the former members of the communist terrorist group as they go back to mainstream society.

In a statement, former NPA member alias “Ka Sonny” said he appreciated the government’s effort in facilitating their integration back into their communities. He added that the amnesty and assistance they received would help them as they start their life anew with their loved ones.

For his part, Brigadier General Cerilo C. Balaoro Jr, 202nd Unifier Brigade Commander, said the E-CLIP assistance manifests the government’s promise and commitment to help rebel returnees as they restore their allegiance to the government.

Balaorao also commended the concerted efforts of the member agencies of the Laguna PTF-ELCAC for their continuous and relentless assistance to the former rebels.

“The main strategy to end the local communist armed conflict is “whole-of-nation approach. Your presence here is a manifestation of your commitment to contributing to providing opportunities to former rebels to start a new life and be productive citizens of the community,” Balaoro said.

“There is still a long road ahead of us, and despite the unexpected challenges that come our way, I have faith that in the passing of years, we will see the growth of success in ending the decades-long communist insurgency in our country through our concerted efforts” he added.

The 202nd Brigade Commander also appealed to the remaining active members of the NPA to lay down their arms and rejoin the mainstream society.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Laguna also supported the call of Balaoro.

“Tayo po ay magtulungan. Gusto ko po sanang makiusap sa inyo na yung iba pa nating kasamahan na hindi pa nag-surrender ay sa pamamagitan po ninyo ay mapakiusapan natin sila na magbalik-loob sa ating pamahalaan para pa tulong-tulong tayo dahil tayo ay pare-parehong Pilipino,” Engr. John M. Cerezo, DILG Laguna Provincial Director, said.

Aside from the E-CLIP benefits, former rebels may also qualify for additional benefits such as access to government services, medical assistance, housing, and legal assistance, among others, according to Cerezo. — FC, PIA Laguna

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