CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, Mar 26 (PIA) -Thirteen former rebels received P688,000 worth of firearms remuneration under the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) on March 24 in a ceremony held at the Army's 202nd Brigade headquarters in Cavinti, Laguna amidst Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine to contain coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The 13 former rebels (FRs), according to the military, surrendered after turning over their firearms to government negotiators last year. They are among the 45 FRs who left the NPA during the terrorist group's 50th anniversary celebration in 2019.
In her speech, Maricar Palacol, focal person of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) of Laguna conveyed Gov Ramil Hernandez's call to the former rebels to "reach out to former comrades and friends who are still members of the NPA to surrender, avail the grants provided by E-CLIP and join the people in our quest for just and lasting peace."
Palacol, in the same occasion, assured the people of Laguna that the provincial government's resolve to deliver social services to their constituents will never waver even in the face of this virus which is currently the greatest threat to humanity.
Meanwhile, Col Alex Rillera, Commander, 202nd Brigade, said they are continuously coordinating with concerned LGUs and government agencies to ensure that former rebels will receive the grants offered to them during the course of local peace negotiations.
Under E-CLIP's implementing guidelines, those who surrender firearms will receive remuneration, the amount of which will double the prevailing market value of every serviceable firearm that will be determined by experts from the PNP.
A former rebel can receive benefits worth up to P700,000 which include immediate and livelihood assistance and additional compensations in the form of educational, health services, employment and housing benefits among others.
Since the implementation of E-CLIP, 466 former rebels surrendered 93 firearms to government forces deployed across Southern Tagalog.
CALABARZON region and MIMARO provinces have so far, distributed a total of P9.79M worth of financial assistance to former rebels. (CPG, PIA-4A with reports from AFP-SOLCOM)