Wednesday, 18 September 2019

3 rebels surrender with firearms in Sarangani

ALABEL, Sarangani (July 3, 2019) - Col. Adonis Bajao of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade presented to Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon on Monday (July 1) three high profile rebels from Guerilla Front (GF) 71 who voluntarily surrendered to the military Sunday evening.

GF 71 of the New People’s Army, according to Bajao, is actively operating in the areas of Sarangani particularly in Maasim and Malapatan and some parts of Davao Occidental where these rebels came from.

Bajao, the brigade commander, said the three rebels, whose identities were not disclosed yet to protect their safety, have renounced their support to the guerilla movement.

However, they did not directly surrender to military troops out of fear. Instead, these rebels pleaded to some Sovereign Grace pastors on Sunday morning to negotiate their intention to lay down their arms to the government.

The surrenderees also brought with them assorted firearms which include one AK-47, one Armalite rifle, and one Carbine rifle which were likewise presented to Solon on Monday.

Solon asked them to help the government convince other insurgents to also surrender and enjoy the programs for development of the government.

They are now being held in custody for further investigation of the police and army and later be enrolled to the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

“For now,” Lizette Lopez, Sarangani’s provincial focal person for the E-CLIP, said, “what we can do is to provide them the immediate assistance like food, clothing and some personal hygiene and ‘yung initial P8,000 financial assistance,” which Governor Solon gave to each of them out of his personal pocket.

Lopez reported the number of surrenderees in the province already totaled to 10 since January.

There were already 495 former rebels in Sarangani enrolled in the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) and in the enhanced CLIP, Lopez said.

With the E-CLIP, Lopez said, “maganda ngayon kasi ang dami nating partners. We have 31 partners. So lahat ng mga national agencies ay kasali, very specific ang dapat na ibigay nila na assistance. Maraming opportunities for livelihood aside sa binibigay ng Department of the Interior and Local Government na P65,000, andyan yung packages for health, and packages for training.”

“Even housing worth of P450,000 they can avail for as long as mayroon silang maipapakita na sariling lupa na titulo,” Lopez said.

The halfway house in Sarangani is already done but Lopez said they could not yet accommodate former rebels for now because of the construction of the fence which is not yet completed. “It will take more or less 2 to 3 months,” Lopez said.

For now, surrenderees will be under the custody of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Lopez said. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)

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