11 ex-NPA rebels get P2-M ECLIP aid in Surigao Norte

AID TO FORMER REBELS. Surigao del Norte Gov. Francisco T. Matugas (3rd from left) and the Army’s 901st Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. George Banzon (2nd from right), lead the distribution of over PHP2 million financial assistance to 11 former rebels on Wednesday (April 14, 2021) at the Provincial Capitol of Surigao del Norte in Surigao City. The officials also called on the remaining rebels in the hinterlands to return to the fold of the law. (Photo courtesy of 901 Brigade)

BUTUAN CITY; Eleven former combatants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Norte received over PHP2.1 million in financial assistance Wednesday.

Gov. Francisco T. Matugas and the Army’s 901st Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. George Banzon, led the distribution of cash aid to former rebels at the Provincial Capitol in Surigao City.

“The assistance the FRs (former rebels) received is part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government,” Banzon said in a statement.

Each of the NPA surrenderers received PHP65,000, while those who surrendered their firearms received an additional amount.

The former rebels surrendered to the government during the late part of 2020 and early this year.

Banzon said the surrenderers also received non-monetary items such as food packs and health kits during the distribution activity.

More support would be provided by the provincial government of Surigao del Norte to the FRs, especially in the form of skills training, employment, and community-based income-generating activities, the Army official added.

Banzon called on the remaining NPA combatants in Surigao del Norte to consider the government’s programs and services and return to the fold of the law.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. 

(Alexander Lopez/PNA/SRNY/RSP)

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