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Ex-red rebels get cash aid

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LOPE DE VEGA, N. SAMAR – The municipal government of this mountain town distributed financial assistance to former communist guerillas.

Lope de Vega Mayor Ana Palloc personally handed to 15 former combatants of the New People’s Army the financial aid of P5,000 each that will help their respective families tide over amid the pandemic.

Palloc said most of the 15 former rebels have enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program benefits, a government program that aims to help former communist rebels who decided to surrender and live a normal life with their families and loved ones.

The 15 former rebels expressed their gratitude to the government for the cash assistance they did not expect.

Palloc said she is grateful that these rebels realized the communist deception before they got killed in an armed encounter.

She also encouraged those who are still in the communist movement to surrender and return to the mainstream society and contribute to peace and progress of the municipality.

Lope De Vega, a fourth-class mountain municipality with a population of 14,690, was a hotbed of insurgency for over four decades since the 70s. At the height of the insurgency in the late 80s, several of its villages were considered no-man’s land due to the sporadic armed encounters between the communists and government forces.

But with the weakening of insurgency in the country, the town has been peaceful with no reported fatal encounters for over two years now.

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