Army, Ilocos Sur gov’t. give financial assistance to former NPA rebels

ILOCOS SUR – Five former rebels were given financial assistance by the the 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion of the Philippine Army, in partnership with the provincial government of Ilocos Sur on Friday.
The awarding of financial assistance to the former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels with a total amount of P444,000.00 is under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government to facilitate their mainstreaming as productive citizens in their communities.
Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio Osias IV, commanding officer of 81st Infantry Battalion, said the CLIP is a complete package program for NPA rebels and active supporters (Milisyang Bayan), who want to start a peaceful and productive new life.
Osias said this shows the sincerity of the government in ending the conflict between the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and focus to law enforcement efforts in bringing peace and development in our country.
“It is the duty of the government officials and agencies to ensure that every peace and development nitiative of the government is well delivered and implemented to the concerned individual. The activity was a concrete proof of their collaborative efforts,” Osias said .
“From here, they will be living a progressive life and will recognize the true efforts that the government has for its people,” he added.
Osias said NPA rebels are also victims of false ideology and that avenues and com-munications should be open in sustaining programs for them and for the people’s well-being.
“Never-the-less, we are open for localized peace talks,” he stressed..
Meanwhile, Major General Felimon Santos Jr. AFP, commander of the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division who represented the Philippine Army during the awarding program said, “Despite of the challenges, we must continue on our efforts in ushering lasting peace and true development in our area of responsibility by delivering and making the government programs and services accessible to the people.” (From the report of April Montes-Bravo)