CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal, July 15 - Eleven former rebels received cheques amounting to P86,000 each on Tuesday directly from the head of the government's Task Force Balik Loob which oversees the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.
Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu of the Department of National Defense presided over the ceremony which was held after his meeting with CALABARZON's military officers and DILG officials.
During his interaction with the FRs, USec Mapagu said that "the government's sincerity and commitment to deliver your E-CLIP benefits will never falter, even in the advent of this deadly Covid-19 pandemic."
He assured the FRs that "your reintegration to mainstream society will be monitored by the government, particularly your safety as well as those of your families."
Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army's 2nd Infantry Division, said that "604 former rebels have already turned over 114 firearms to joint AFP and PNP forces since E-CLIP's maiden implementation in Luzon and Visayas was held on Aug 14, 2018 at Tanauan City, Batangas."
He explained that out of the total number of surrenders, 144 surfaced this year, 109 of whom came from Region 4A while the remaining 35 were from Mindoro Provinces. These returnees surrendered 25 firearms to the government's security forces.
"All in all, around Php16.262 million worth of grants have been distributed to our former rebels" added Maj Gen Burgos while saying that "that figure will further increase once the enrolment process of the other FRs are completed."
He assured "the former rebels under our care, and those who will decide to give up the armed struggle in the coming days, will be assisted by our troops in claiming their benefits, ensuring their safety and promoting their well-being as they rejoin our society as responsible and productive Filipinos."
Maj Gen Burgos ended his statement by expressing optimism that "more terrorists will surrender in the coming days because of the prevailing demoralisation across their ranks as well as the lingering fear in their minds brought about by the recent signing of the Anti-Terrorism Act."
He has earlier indicated that additional ground, air and naval assets have been deployed in his area of operations as part of the military's final push to decimate the NPA terrorists who have suffered unprecedented losses in Southern Tagalog in recent history.
Under E-CLIP, qualified former rebels can avail up to Php 700,000 worth of government grants which they can use to start in living peaceful lives after turning their backs from the underground movement. (2IDPAO)