BALER, Aurora – Some four communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered along with their firearms to authorities in Barangay Tugatog, Bongabon, Nueva Ecija on Sept. 13.
Lt. Col. Reandrew Rubio, commander of the Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry Battalion, confirmed the surrender on Tuesday, saying it is the result of the continuous encouragement of the local government unit and security forces for rebels to start anew with government assistance.
The surrenderers were identified as Ariel Tumenez, alias Ka Smith, a former member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who yielded his improvised .45-caliber rifle, improvised 12-gauge shotgun, and a hand grenade; Meraljane Vigilia, alias Ka Vincent, a former member of Militia ng Bayan – Komiteng Larangang Guerilla Sierra Madre (MB KLG Sierra Madre); Dianne Cruz, alias ka Leslie, also a Sierra Madre unit member who gave up her 12-gauge shotgun; and Adrian Salcedo, alias Ka Joma, of the MB Sandatahang Yunit Sierra Madre.
Rubio said the former rebels will reap the benefits under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, retooled community support program activities, and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integrated Program (E-CLIP).
The E-CLIP reintegrates ex-rebels back to the community and takes them to their families with financial benefits that include but are not limited to reintegration assistance (PHP21,000); firearms, explosives, and ammunitions remuneration; immediate assistance (PHP15,000); livelihood assistance (PHP50,000); livelihood materials and implements or employment assistance (PHP100,000); access to government services; medical, psychosocial, and legal assistance; housing; modified conditional cash transfer; loan and market access; alternative learning system; college tuition and stipend; and conditional transitional grant (PHP5,000).
Rubio urged the public to support and coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and partner agencies to solve the province’s insurgency problem.
“Surely, we will process the ECLIP benefits for them and other services being offered by the government. Again, we urge the remnants of communist terrorists to surrender peacefully and be reunited with their families,” he said in an interview.
The CPP-NPA is also listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines while the National Democratic Front was designated as one by the country’s Anti-Terrorism Council in July. (PNA)