217 rebel re­turnees get P15.6-M aid

The Philippine Star - - NATION - – Jaime Laude, Ben Ser­rano

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.

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