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Ex-NPA get gov’t assistance

The ceremony is a manifestation of the government’s sincerity in its call for NPA terrorists to return to mainstream society in the name of lasting peace, national unity and reconciliation.

Mario J. Mallari

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Twenty-two former rebels received P680,000 worth of grants from the government during the launching of Laguna’s Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) Sta. Cruz town, the military announced Friday.

Col. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction in the area, said that the warm welcome rendered to the former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and supporters was a clear proof of the Duterte administration genuine efforts for peace.

“The ceremony is a manifestation of the government’s sincerity in its call for NPA terrorists to return to mainstream society in the name of lasting peace, national unity and reconciliation,” Rillera said.

Rillera said that seven of the former rebels were NPA regulars who received P65,000 each while the militias were given P15,000 each.

The former rebels will be receiving additional compensation from other government agencies in the coming days such as educational, housing and employment among others as mandated by the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Rillera expressed confidence that “through the government’s concerted effort at all echelons, we will be able to address the prevailing social issues in the the soonest possible time thereby denying the NPAs the propaganda which they exploit to recruit our people and further their terroristic objectives.”

Following President Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order Number 70, Laguna became the second province of Region 4A to officially launch and activate its PTF ELCAC.

Quezon province was the first to do so during a ceremony last 10 October in Infanta that was attended by the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

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