President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday met with 700 former communist rebels and supporters who surrendered to the military under the “Panaghuisa Para sa Kalinaw” (Unity for Peace) program at the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan in Davao City.
The President was accompanied in the meeting by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero. Duterte led the Oath of Allegiance and heard the testimony of a rebel who wanted to join the mainstream society.
The former rebels surrendered from January 1 to 15 December 15, 2017. They came were from the provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, Surigao, Davao, Cotabato, and Sarangani.
They also turned over their firearms to the authorities, underwent verification processes and are now recipients of the government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) which offers surrenderees various financial and livelihood assistance.
The CLIP aims to provide the basic needs of former rebels and help them start a reformed life away from armed struggle. After attending debriefing seminars, livelihood programs, and cash assistance, the former rebels were then given a chance to be reintegrated in the mainstream society.
Benefits from the CLIP included a P15,000 financial support plus P50,000 for livelihood, and payment for the surrendered firearm ranging from P12,000 to P210,000 depending on the type of weapons. The guns were then presented by the President and other government officials.
Lorenzana, various government officials, local leaders, and government agencies graced the event to hold dialogues with former rebels.
On the other hand, national and local government agencies conducted social services, health, infrastructure, livelihood, education, social justice, and governance seminars and programs for the former rebels.#