Guv lauds former rebels for returning to the folds of the law

SAN JOSE, Antique, June 24 (PIA) - - Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao lauded the decision of the 11 former rebels who have decided to return to the folds of the law after years of struggle against the government.

Cadiao emphasized that these returnees have made a tough decision but they are right in their move to return to government. 

In a program held at the Antique Police Provincial Office led by PCol Roy B. Parena, the governor said that the former rebels'  decision to return home should serve as an example to those in the mountains.

 "It is now the time to return to the folds of the law because the government is willing to embrace them and support their needs," Cadiao said.

“Welcome home. I am happy that you decided to surrender in Antique. We know that you are also operating in other areas in Panay Island,” she added.

Cadiao assured them that her administration in partnership with Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and the incumbent municipal mayors will do their best to bring the government closer to the people.

“Let us take advantage of the friendliness of this administration. Why do we have to kill each other when we are given the chance to express ourselves in a peaceful way.  We are one Antiqueños. We are one Filipinos,” she stressed.

On the part of the Philippine Army, 61IB Commanding Officer Colonel Joel Benedict Batara said that the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist and Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) in Antique is working hard for peace and development of the province.

The surrender of these former rebels is a manifestation that they no longer support the cause of the New People’s Army because of the terrorist acts and deception made by the NPA leaders.

“I hope this decision of the rebels will not end. We know that there are still a lot of NPAs who want to return to the government, who wish to live a peaceful life with their families and have a stable source of income,” Batara said.

He assured that the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government will be given to them so they could start a new life and have a better livelihood.

ECLIP is a comprehensive program wherein services of government are converged to provide complete package of assistance to former rebels.

These former rebels will under a process of deradicalization so they will be reintegrated to their families and communities.

During the program, Peace and order and Public Safety Consultant Margie L. Gadian also assured the returnees that the provincial government is sincere in supporting them.

The Province of Antique and the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda will provide them with cash assistance through the Aid to Individual in Crisis Situation (AICS).  

Other government agencies like Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Department of Trade and Industry have also programs for them so they could start a new life.(JBG/PSM/PIA-Antique)

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