51 ex-NPA rebels in Zamboanga del Norte get cash aid
Posted: 2022-Sep-14 07.24.24 UTC+0800
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ZAMBOANGA CITY – Fifty-one former New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Zamboanga del Norte are beneficiaries of additional cash assistance from the government aimed at uplifting their lives, a military official said Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Nolasco Coderos Jr., the Army's 97th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said they have assisted the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Zamboanga Peninsula in the aid distribution Monday at their headquarters in Barangay Del Pilar, Piñan town. The ex-rebels received P3,000 each, he said.
The cash assistance given by the DSWD intends to help former NPA rebels through Executive Order (EO) No. 70 or the Whole of Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
The release of the cash subsidy was administered by a team led by Cledelou Zaragoza, focal person on E.O. 70 of the DSWD regional office.
Coderos said cash assistance is only one of the many government initiatives in showing its commitment to ELCAC, citing that it also serves as an early Christmas gift to the former NPA rebels considering the upcoming Yuletide season.
"I encourage those who are still in the mountain to go back to the folds of the law to start a peaceful and normal way of living together with their families," he said.
The recipients of the cash subsidy earlier received financial assistance under the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program worth P50,000 as livelihood assistance and another P15,000 for immediate support.
The benefits exclude the amount for firearms remuneration the ex-rebels also received that depended on the type of firearms they surrendered. (PNA)