NSFA, Panacan, Davao City (DWDD) – Around 700 former communist rebels and supporters from all over Eastern Mindanao who had chosen to lead normal lives were gathered at Camp Panacan, Davao City on December 21, 2017, and met President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the event entitled “Panaghiusa para sa Kalinaw” or United for Peace of Eastern Mindanao Command.
The former rebels were from the provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, Surigao, Davao, Cotabato, and Sarangani who had surrendered their firearms to different units of the Command. After undergoing verification processes, they have become recipients of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government which offers NPA surrenderees various financial and livelihood assistance.
Among the specific benefits that each former communist rebel got from CLIP are P15,000 financial support, P50,000 for livelihood, and a remuneration for the surrendered firearm with an amount ranging from P12,000 to P210,000 depending on the type of firearms that they turned over.
The former rebels who attended the event were among those who surrendered from January to December 20 this year and most of them were former members of the New People’s Army (NPA). With their surrender comes the recovery of 265 high and low-powered firearms.
Various officials from different government agencies had also attended the event not only to witness but also to hold dialogues with the former communist rebels and offer government’s social services, health, infrastructure, livelihood, education, social justice and governance programs to help former communist rebels reintegrate to the society smoothly.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte later attended the event for the oath of allegiance of the former rebels to the government and also to deliver his message.
“It’s my obligation to give you protection just how I am defending my soldiers,” President Duterte told the returnees in vernacular.
Aside from the benefits given through the CLIP, the President has also offered 2,000 “ready for occupancy” housing units to the returnees. He also gave one cell phone to each returnee to directly contact him for any information. Further, they received three food packs each coming from City of Davao, Malacañang, and Department of Social Welfare and Development. AFP PAO/MCAG