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Government gives ‘new life’ to 3 former rebels

By Liza Agoot / Philippine News Agency

CAMP DANGWA, LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The government has started to give assistance to three former communist terrorists (CTs) from Abra who voluntarily returned to the fold of the law.

In the simple surrender ceremony that coincided with the inauguration of the Atok municipal police station on Thursday, Police Regional Office-Cordillera (PROCOR) director, BGen. Ronald Lee, gave cash aid and assorted groceries to the three former New People's Army (NPA) rebels.

Benguet caretaker Representative Eric Yap also gave sacks of rice to the three surrenderers.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Cordillera regional director Nathan Lacambra also offered livelihood assistance for the surrenderers.

Capt. Marnie Abellanida, PROCOR information officer, on Friday said the three will be processed under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) where they can avail of other assistance like housing, remuneration for the firearms surrendered, and scholarship.

He said the three CTs were former members of the Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) North Abra and are all listed under the Periodic Status Report on the Threat Groups (PSRTG) watchlist for the 4th quarter of 2020.

Abellanida said the three surrendered on April 27 after government troops continued to communicate and coordinate with their families who convinced them.

“They were then transported (from Abra) to Benguet to seek refuge and for possible employment,” he said.

The three were temporarily housed at the Benguet Provincial Police headquarters, prior to their formal surrender.

The police officer said the three brought along with them firearms – an M14 rifle without serial number with 10 pieces of ammunition; one Thompson SMG with a magazine loaded with seven .45-caliber ammunition; and one Interdynamic SMG model KG9 9mm Luger bearing serial number SN 810069 with one magazine and 13 pieces of 9mm ammunition, which will all have equivalent monetary remuneration.

The government continues to entice NPA rebels and their supporters to surrender and give back their allegiance to the government as part of the peace initiative of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)

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