Police present masked ‘ex-rebels’ set to receive aid
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila’s police chief on Tuesday welcomed some 30 alleged rebels who returned to the fold of the law after years of supposedly giving part of their earnings to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). The surrenderers, who were all wearing masks, were inducted into the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) so they could become eligible to receive financial and livelihood assistance.
They also took the oath of allegiance to the republic in a program held at the regional police headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Police Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, said the group, composed mostly of truck drivers, had availed themselves of the rebel returnee program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).
They came from Metro Manila and other regions who were convinced to surrender, Danao said. Most of them, he claimed, were fed up with the CPP-NPA’s monthly collection of 10 percent from their salaries.
“They are working hard on their jobs, and yet they are forced to give 10 percent of their salaries every month. So they were the milking cows [of the communist rebels],” he said.
Under the NTF-Elcac program, former rebels will receive P15,000 in immediate assistance, P50,000 in livelihood assistance, and P12,000 to P500,000 as firearms remuneration.
They and their families will also be provided a halfway house, medical aid and enrollment in Philippine Health Insurance Corp., as well as education, housing and legal assistance.
Danao said the closure of companies they worked for would be highly favorable for the CPP-NPA because “they would be asking [for] 25 percent of what the workers would receive.”
He encouraged communist rebels to surrender and avail themselves of the E-Clip program so they could reintegrate in mainstream society. —JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE INQ
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