TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Some former rebels (FR) received financial assistance from Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).
In a press release, Cagayan Provincial Information Office (CPIO) said the FRs from Santo Niño town reportedly received P65,000 each for livelihood assistance. CPIO said these will be used “to help them [FRs] start a new life in the mainstream society.”
The awarding of assistance was led by Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and DILG Provincial Director Corazon Toribio in the Capitol, this city, on Saturday, September 30.
CPIO’s Mielmia Baquiran said the CLIP is a program of the DILG that seeks to persuade rebels to surrender and return to the protection of the government with the promise of a new start.
Aside from financial assistance, technical and government integration assistance were also extended to FRs under CLIP.
In the release, Toribio said the financial assistance “will only be awarded if FRs will use these for livelihood projects based on their skills, knowledge, and their community’s resources.”
CPIO said the extended assistance will also give FRs from TESDA, Department of Trade and Industry, Provincial Agriculturist Office , and Provincial Veterinarian’s Office.
CPIO also said Toribio and Governor Mamba are talking with the people from the FRs’ communities to “accept” and “help” FRs in starting over again.
Dialogue with Army
On October 9, Northern Luzon Command Army Major General Emmanuel Salamat held a dialogue with Governor Manuel Mamba to discuss counter-insurgency and anti-rebel efforts in the province.
This also came days after alleged New People’s Army-related incidents were reported in the towns of Buguey and Santa Teresita.
Salamat said he wanted to “open access towards engagement” to enhance collaboration with local governments, urging Mamba to strengthen his alliances with municipalities to promote peace, development and prosperity.
In the meeting, Mamba said rebels recruit people and “indoctrinate” them through alternative education offered by rebel leaders. He said this further ‘brain washes’ recruits of the rebel ideology.
Meanwhile, CPIO’s Baquiran reported in a release that Governor Mamba and Toribio are encouraging FRs to take the Alternative Learning System (ALS), adding that some of the FR beneficiaries “did not finish school.”
Mamba told the media after his meeting with Salamat that he will coordinate more with the military’s efforts against rebels.
He also said he is hoping that Cagayan troops deployed in Marawi City will be brought back in the province to strengthen military force in Cagayan. Northernforum.net