MANILA — The military’s support for the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) is still in full swing to ensure that surrendering communist rebels have a holistic package of benefits that they can avail of, such as livelihood assistance, medical assistance, education, housing, and legal assistance.
“We hope that more members of this group realize that they are fighting for a lost cause. And we call on those remaining members to avail of the E-CLIP and come back to their families to live a free and peaceful life away from violence,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, said in a statement forwarded to reporters Tuesday.
The reintegration assistance is in support of the receiving unit to which the rebels surrendered.
These units spend money for the former rebels’ daily meals, mobility, identification cards, papers, and other basic expenses.
The AFP also helps provide protection to hundreds of E-CLIP beneficiaries from their former cadres who might hurt them and deprive them of this opportunity to be with the mainstream society again.
“These actions manifest the sincerity and the desire of the government to eradicate communist terrorism through peaceful means,” Detoyato added.
In the first two months of 2019, a total of 608 NPA members and supporters surrendered to government troops.
This can be broken down into 107 regular armed rebels, 137 members of the “Milisya ng Bayan”, and 364 mass supporters.
“We hope to receive more rebels who want to return to the folds of the law rather than the casualties we record daily in the bloody battlefield,” he said. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com