700 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) faced President Rodrigo Duterte in a dialogue organized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday in Davao City.
Most of the 700 who surrendered this year came from the provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, Cotabato, Davao, Sarangani and Surigao already received financial assistance and livelihood aid as part of the government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), while the others are still being processed so they can also receive the government’s assistance, said Army Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command.
“The former rebels who were from the provinces and had surrendered their firearms to the authorities and after undergoing verification processes are now the automatic recipients of the CLIP of the government which offers various [forms of] financial and livelihood assistance,” Major Balagtey said.
Among the benefits that each former communist rebel can get from CLIP are:
- P15,000 financial support,
- another P50,000 for livelihood
- and a remuneration for the surrendered firearm with amounts ranging from P12,000 to P210,000 depending on the type of firearms they turned over to the government.
Officials from different government agencies also attended the event to hold dialogues with the former rebels and regarding various government’s services like health, infrastructure, livelihood, education, social justice and governance programs.
A number of former rebels has also joined the military’s (Cafgu) to help troops guard their communities from NPA attacks.
There are also former rebels who are now Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) members and they are now partners of the government troops for the people and the community’s security.
Maj. Balagtey appealed to the communist rebels out there to “take advantage” of the government’s amnesty program and live a peaceful life with their families.