CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippine’s (AFP) support to the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government is still in full swing to ensure that former members of the communist terrorist group CPP-NPA will have a holistic package of benefits that they can avail of such as, but not limited to, livelihood assistance, medical assistance, education, housing, and legal assistance.
Just last 03 March 2019, a certain Jobert Buenaflor alias Toto voluntarily surrendered to the troops of 39th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army in Columbio, Sultan Kudarat. He also revealed an arms cache located in Tulunan, Cotabato where the 39IB troops recovered the following: one M60 machine gun; one Garand rifle; one M16 rifle; and four barrels of M14 rifles.
Alias Toto said in the initial interview facilitated by the 39IB that he surrendered due to starvation and fear of the intensified operations done by the military.
Moreover, a total of 25 NPA members who used to operate in Negros Occidental surrendered to the 23rd Infantry Battalion on 02 March 2019. Surrenderees turned over three M16 rifles; one M14 rifle; four Garand rifles; 12 Cal .45 pistols; one Cal .22 with scope; four gauge shotguns; and two 9mm Uzis.
“We hope that more members of this group realize that they are fighting for a lost cause, and we call on those remaining members to avail of the E-CLIP and come back to their families to live a free and peaceful life away from violence,” Col. Noel Detoyato, Chief, Public Affairs Office AFP said.
In the first two months of 2019, there were already a total of 608 CPP-NPA members and supporters who surrendered to government troops, 107 of them were regular armed members, 137 are Milisyang Bayan, and 364 are mass supporters.
The reintegration assistance is in support to the receiving unit to which the rebels surrendered. These units spend money for the former rebels’ daily meals, mobility, identification cards, papers, and other basic expenses.
The AFP also helps provide protection to hundreds of E-CLIP beneficiaries from their former cadres who might hurt them and deprive them of this opportunity to be with the mainstream society again.
“These actions manifest the sincerity and the desire of the government to eradicate communist terrorism through peaceful means,” Col. Detoyato added.
“We hope to receive more rebels who want to return to the folds of the law rather than the casualties we record daily in the bloody battlefield.” he added.