mindanao.politics.com.ph

Battalion of ex-NPA rebels fly to Manila to have dinner with Duterte in Malacanang in Feb. 7

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The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) sent off the first batch of the 683 former New People’s Army (NPA) Tuesday morning to dine with President Rodrigo Duterte.

This was a promise of the President last month to meet the surrenderers in Malacañang. The dinner with the President is scheduled Wednesday, February 7.

Eastmincom spokesperson Maj. Ezra Balagtey said the trip to the big city was also part of an educational tour of the former rebels, who took off from the Tactical Operation Group XI in Sasa.

“This is to encourage active participation of the former rebels in nation-building and peace-building,” Balagtey said.

The ex -rebels would be brought to historical places like Intramuros and project sites like mushroom production and other farms in Bulacan to help them get ideas on how to improve their lives and be self-sustaining.

Duterte met with the 683 NPA surrenders in December last year at the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) Covered Court in Panacan, Davao City.

They came from the provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, Surigao, Davao, Cotabato and Sarangani.

The surrenderers underwent verification process for their automatic enrolment to the government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) where they will receive P15,000 financial support, another P50,000 for livelihood, and a remuneration for the surrendered firearm with an amount ranging from P12,000 to P210,000 depending on the type of firearms that they turned over.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continues to receive the mass surrender of NPA regulars and underground mass supporters in many areas of the Eastmincom.(Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)