217 rebel returnees get P15.6-M aid
At least 217 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels received benefits worth P15.6 million from the government, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced yesterday.
Reynaldo Mapagu, defense undersecretary for civil, veterans and retiree affairs and chairman of the Task Force Balik Loob, welcomed the rebel returnees in a ceremony recently held in Agusan del Sur.
“We must work harder to implement the E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program) and bring more of our fellow Filipinos who were recruited by the NPA... back to their families,” Mapagu said.
Earlier this week, the DND announced the surrender of 134 NPA rebels in Bicol. Each surrenderee received livelihood assistance worth P65,000 from the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
As this developed, a communist guerrilla was killed in an encounter with government troopers in Barangay Policarpio, San Luis, Agusan del Sur on Friday.
Capt. Rodolfo Cordero, 401st Infantry Battalion (IB) spokesman, said an M16 rifle and improvised explosive devices were recovered at the scene.
Brig. Gen. Andres Centino, 401st IB commander, thanked residents for helping authorities locate the rebels.
“Help us prevent NPA terrorists from committing atrocities against the people by providing us timely information on the presence of the armed group in your communities,” Centino appealed to the public.