MANILA, Aug. 8 (PNA) — Thirty four New People’s Army (NPA) fighters have voluntarily surrendered to field units of the 10th Infantry Division.
This was disclosed by unit public affairs office chief 1st Lt. Alexandre Cabales in a statement Saturday.
The surrendered rebels were from the Davao Region and parts of Regions 10 and 12.
Cabales attributed the surrenders to the 10th Infantry Division’s people-centered peace and development outreach program, which continues to gain headway and gain the support of people in conflict-affected communities.
He said that the Division was able to do this through peace advocacy, information campaign to expose the ills and deception being undertaken by the armed insurgents, and in tandem with the local government units and agencies, address their needs and improve governance in the communities.
As a result, these communities became more aware of the services and support given by the government and thus increased their support towards it.
Under the government’s Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan”, the thrust with regard to the communist insurgency is to reduce their armed capability to an inconsequential level, and the primary approach to achieve this is to enlighten them regarding the futility of armed struggle and encourage them to lay down their arms and live peaceful, normal and productive lives.
Since the start of 2015, more than 150 former rebels have so far surrendered to the units under the 10th Infantry Division, and the rate is expected to further increase with the active participation of former rebels and other peace loving units and individuals who in turn facilitate the surrender of other rebels.
Either a government official, tribal leader, family member of the rebels or ordinary citizens from the community facilitated the surrender of 20 of 34 rebel-surrenderees. The trend is expected to further increase with the active implementation of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the government.
CLIP is a program of government being implemented by the Department of Interior and Local Government specifically to cater to the rebels who opts to go back to the folds of the law and rejoin the mainstream society.
Under this program, the local government units form their respective CLIP committees who will facilitate the different government interventions necessary to reintegrate the former rebel to the society.
The former rebels (FRs) are given different lectures and activities for values formation, livelihood enhancement, responsible citizenship, and love for country.
Aside from remuneration of their surrendered firearms, they also receive cash grant for livelihood and for them to start anew with their lives as free and productive individuals. (PNA)