A total of 35 former members of New People’s Army (NPA) in the province of Compostela Valley received Php 1.03 million in cash assistance and remuneration of surrendered firearms, the Philippine Army reported Saturday.
10th Infantry (Agila) Division chief information officer Captain Rhayn Batchar said the handing over of cash assistance and remuneration were facilitated through a ceremony on Friday at the provincial capitol of Compostela Valley province.
The ceremony was led by Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, 10th ID commander Major General Rafael Valencia, 1001st Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Macairog Alberto and other top provincial officials.
Batchar said the former rebels were presented jointly by the 1001st brigade and the Compostela Valley Police Provincial Office (CVPPO) to Governor Uy.
Each of the former rebels received the amount of Php 15,000 as initial cash assistance while 12 of the 35 former rebels received additional cash for the firearms they surrendered to the government.
Among the recipients was Roberto Hiyan, alias Bobby, a former NPA Milisya ng Bayan (MB) member who returned to the folds of law, together with 12 of his followers last March 19, 2016.
Hiyan brought with him an M60 general purpose machine gun (GPMG) and two rocket propelled grenades when he surfaced, Batchar added.
Hiyan received a total amount of Php 304,000 as remuneration for the high-powered firearms he surrendered.
“Dako kaayo akong kalipay sa gobyerno nga gituman gyud nila ang ilang panaad aron mapahimutang ang among pamilya (I feel very happy because the government fulfilled its vow to help our family),”Hiyan said.
In his message, governor Uy assured the group of Hiyan of the continued support of the provincial government.
Uy also serves as the chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in Davao region.
The assistance was part of the continuing implementation of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) under the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Of the total amount handed over to the former rebels, Php 525,000 was in the form of cash assistance while the other Php 504,000 was in the form of remuneration to the firearms surrendered to the government.
During the ceremony, Major General Valencia also called on the other NPA members to go back to the folds of the law.
“We encourage other NPA members to follow their former comrades who have seen the light and finally return to the folds of law,” Valencia said.
Dreams of a better life for their family, Valencia added, can be achieved through peaceful means and not through force, intimidation and deception.
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