24 ex-NPA fighters get cash aid in Agusan Sur
Updated: May 3
By Alexander Lopez / Philippine News Agency
BUTUAN CITY – At least 24 former combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the Army's 26th Infantry Battalion (26IB) this year received cash assistance from the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) of Agusan del Sur.
In a statement on Wednesday (April 28), the 26IB said the cash assistance distribution in Prosperidad town on Tuesday was facilitated by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of Agusan del Sur.
Each of the former rebels received PHP10,000.
Among those who benefited from the support of the PTF-ELCAC was alias 'Rey', who thanked the government for the opportunities given to them when they decided to leave the rebel movement.
“Since I returned to the folds of the law, I received a lot of support from the government. This will help me renew my life, together with my family,” Rey was quoted as saying by the 26IB.
He also called on comrades to accept the government offer and voluntarily surrender.
Lt. Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, assured the remaining NPA rebels in Agusan del Sur of government support once they decide to leave the movement and surrender.
"The government is more than willing to assist those who want to come back in the folds of the law. Once they surrender, we will be providing them the government programs and initiatives that would help them in re-building a more peaceful life together with their loved ones.” Goce said.
He said 74 of the 157 former rebels under the 26IB have already received benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
Another 74 are now waiting for the release of the benefits while nine ex-NPA combarants are being processed for enrolment to the ECLIP, Goce said. (PNA)