Certificates of entitlement for livelihood and housing assistance were granted through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to 20 former rebels (FRs) during a ceremony held for the Closing of the Tribal Chieftains’ Summit and Oath Taking of Former Rebels at the 202nd Infantry (UNIFIER) Brigade Headquarters in Cavinti, Laguna on April 24, 2019.
“Bilang Chairperson ng Task Force Balik Loob (TFBL), inatasan ako ng ating mahal na Pangulo na mangasiwa para sa convergence. Ito ang tema natin ngayon sa Gobyerno. Ibig sabihin tulong-tulong ang lahat para sa mga kapatid nating nagbalik-loob sa gobyerno at sa lipunan, para sa ganun mabigyan sila ng pangalawang pagkakataon na mamuhay nang tahimik at mapayapa,” TFBL Chair Usec. Reynaldo B. Mapagu explained in his message.
BGen Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos, 202IB Commander, said that the confirmed 20 FRs were part of the 45 New People’s Army (NPA) fighters and supporters. Most of them were Dumagat Indigenous People (IP), who turned over 25 firearms to the government and are now enrolled in the E-CLIP. He added that the participants of the first-ever Tribal Chieftains’ Summit held in Brgy Umiray, Gen Nakar, Quezon last November 22 and 23, 2018, played a key role in the surrender.
“Dalawampu sa mga sumuko ay kasama natin ngayon upang sila ay tumanggap ng paunang benepisyo na nagkakahalaga ng higit Php 65,000 na bahagi ng higit Php 700,000 na halaga ng ayuda at pabuya na ibibigay sa kanila ng pamahalaan dahil pinili nila ang landas ng kapayapaan at hindi karahasan.” BGen Burgos said.
Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog Sec. Jose Maria Nicomedes F. Hernandez, who led the awarding of E-CLIP grants, welcomed the FRs, saying, “Muli po kayong niyayakap ng ating pamahalaan at ginagawa nila ang lahat ng kanilang makakaya upang makasiguro na mabibigyan ng panibagong simula and ating mga kapatid na nagbalik-loob, pati na rin and kanilang mga pamilya.”
Meanwhile, one of the former rebels, who requested anonymity when interviewed, revealed that he worked in the intelligence unit of the NPA in Quezon. He shared that he had heard of the E-CLIP, but wanted to ensure its genuineness.
“Ngayong nangyari nga sa akin ito, totoo nga. Ang payo ko sa iba, kung meron mang maglalakas ng loob na sumuko ay gawin na nila para sa kanilang sarili at sa ating bansa. Ang payo ko lang din sa mga gustong pumasok sa NPA, huwag na nilang subukan.”
E-CLIP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach towards the higher objective of having just and lasting peace. It provides social equity to former members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and the Militia ng Bayan by devising a different modality of providing benefits and services to the FRs, in order to reintegrate them into mainstream society.
These benefits do not serve as an end, but rather a means to aid the FRs in securing a foothold in restarting their lives. Unlike previous government rebel reintegration programs, the E-CLIP provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of FRs and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, legal assistance, and among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies. ###