TACLOBAN CITY– About 41 former members of the New People’s Army (NP) and sympathizers received financial assistance from the provincial government of Samar on Monday (June 5).
The granting of financial assistance, in a total amount of P1.79 million, to the former rebels and sympathizers was made under the government’s local social integration program.
The amount received by the former NPA members and supporters ranged from P10,000 to P35,000, depending if they surrendered their firearms.
These surrenderees were previously operating or residing in the towns of Basey, San Jose de Buan, and Villareal, all in Samar.
Of the 41 beneficiaries, 17 of them were regular members of the armed front of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
One of them was alias ‘Maya’ who once belonged to the Bugsok Platoon of the sub-regional committee sesame of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee.
“We are thankful to the government for giving to us this financial assistance. We will use this to put up a small business that can provide us our daily needs,” she said.
She and her husband, alias ‘Otip’ both received P75,000.
Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan said that she is happy that these former rebels and supporters have decided to return to the folds of the law.
She also vowed to help them as they start to live a normal life.
“Welcome home to the true government. Do not ever think that the government has forsaken you or that we do not listen to your needs. We are always here and the people, our constituents, are always our top priority,” Tan said in her message during the program held at the camp of the 8th Infantry Division in Catbalogan City.
Major Gen. Camilo Ligayo, the commanding general of the 8th ID, also expressed his gratitude to the former rebels for surrendering.
He also reiterated their campaign to finally end the insurgency problem of the region.
‘I enjoin the former rebels to be agents of peace and be active partners of the government in its quest to have a community free from the influence of the communist terrorist groups(and) make use of the assistance provided by the government to start anew life,” Ligayo said.
Ligayo had earlier said that he sees the end of Eastern Visayas insurgency problem by this year, saying their main focus now is in Northern Samar province where there are still two communist guerilla fronts still operating.
(LIZBETH ANN A.ABELLA)