PROVINCIAL CAPITOL, CITY OF ILAGAN, ISABELA – in a press conference, the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) of Isabela headed by Governor Rodolfo T. Albano III, presented five (5) rebels lured out of armed struggle along with surrendered high powered firearms and explosives on July 7, 2021 at Balai, Provincial Capitol Compound.
Centered at projecting the efforts of various government agencies in the Province of Isabela to end local insurgency, the PTF-ELCAC guarantees the provision of different government aids the now considered former rebels (FRs).
502nd CMO Officer, Capt. Joter Lobo, formally presented to the PTF-ELCAC and media the FRs, four (4) high powered firearms, one (1) low powered firearm, twenty-eight (28) Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and 205 rifle grenades.
Gov. Albano welcomed the FRs and thanked them for putting their trust in the government once again. He assured the FRs that necessary assistance will be afforded to them for their proper integration into mainstream society.
“Ang ating pagtulong ay kabuoan. Hindi lang yung basta bigyan kayo ng pera ay bahala na kayo. Kargo na namin kayo at responsibilidad na namin ang buhay ninyo. Hindi namin kayo pababayaan. Ipapakita namin sa inyo na sinsero kami. At ang pagtulong namin ay hindi lamang pansamantala”, he said.
Meanwhile, Isabela Information Officer, Atty. Elizabeth C. Binag, informed the media regarding the assistance of Provincial Government of Isabela (PGI) to FRs residing in the municipalities of Jones and Quirino, Isabela, who later on became recipients of farmlands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). She further announced that PGI also facilitated the assistance to seven (7) FRs in availing the financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Aware of the security threat faced by FRs, Col. Remigio Dulatre, of the 5th Infantry Division guaranteed that they will provide enough protection and security to the FRs because they are aware of the consequences of their surrender. He emphasized that it is their priority that the FRs will be integrated into the community.
DILG-Isabela Director and PTF-ELCAC head secretariat, Engr. Toribio, informed the media that under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration program (ECLIP), FRs are also eligible to receive immediate and livelihood assistance amounting to P15,000.00 and P50,000.00 respectively. However, livelihood assistance can only be accessed by the former regular members of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Moreover, surrendered firearms are also remunerated depending on the valuation of such firearm conducted by the PNP, AFP and DILG. The firearms remuneration and livelihood assistance received by the former rebels are closely monitored by the Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) of PGI based on the project that was proposed by the FRs themselves.
The press conference was successfully concluded with the awarding of initial assistance given by the provincial government to the former rebels.
(SOURCE: DILG-ISABELA, LGCDU)