CATBALOGAN CITY – The Philippine Army reported on Sunday that former members of the New People's Army who returned to society have received financial assistance from the Senator Ronald Dela Rosa last Friday.
According to the Army's 8th Infantry Division, at least 260 former rebels received a total of P1.53 million cash aid — 46 of them who surrendered with firearms received P10,000 each, and 214 received P5,000 respectively.
Macky Dela Rosa, chief of staff of the senator, spearheaded the distribution of financial grants together with 8ID Division Commander Maj. Gen. Camilo Ligayo and social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
In her message, Dela Rosa expressed gratitude to the former rebels for returning to the folds of the law and appealed for help in convincing remaining members of the NPA to surrender their arms and abandon the armed struggle.
Among the beneficiaries is Alias Dio, a former squad leader of "Bugsok" Platoon, who has been in the armed movement for six years before he decided to surrender and return to his family.
Alias Dio expressed his gratitude for all the help and support extended to them by the government and assured that he will remain true to his commitment in helping the government encourage his former comrades to surrender.
"I am happy to return to my family and also for the assistance we received from different government agencies. These can help us in convincing our former comrades to lay down their arms and live a normal life," said Dio.
Ligayo, on the other hand, encouraged the former rebels to put the money to good use as the cash assistance given to former communist combatants symbolizes the government's unwavering support to them.
"It represents a pledge to assist them in their reintegration into mainstream society, to help them rebuild their lives, and to provide them with opportunities for a brighter and more secure future," said Ligayo.