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DILG chief points to a sharp decline in leftist movement

A total of 8,367 communist rebels had surrendered to the government from July 1, 2016 to Dec. 28, 2018, of which 1,117 were granted benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), said Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

He noted a decline in the Communist movement as the E-CLIP has been gaining ground in many parts of the country and  encouraged more communist rebels to surrender.

“Lives are being changed by the E-CLIP program. With more than a thousand former rebels who have received financial assistance last year, we hope that their testimonies will serve as an encouragement for more communist rebels to surrender,” Año said in a statement.

E-CLIP is one of the main components of the interagency Task Force Balik Loob program, which is the central coordinating body that supervises the government’s reintegration efforts for the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (NPA) – National Democratic Front and their immediate family members.

Of the 8,367 rebel surrenderers, 1,207 are armed NPA regulars while the rest are members of the Militia ng Bayan, Sangay ng Partido sa Lokal and underground mass activists.

As of December 21, 2018, a total of 1,117 former rebels received financial assistance. Many of them were from the Davao region (361), Soccskargen (166)  and Caraga (149).

According to Año, the recent creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict by President Rodrigo Duterte will lead to more rebel surrenderers as it focuses on localized peace engagements.

Meanwhile, 34 provinces and cities received financial assistance amounting to a total of P170 million for the construction of halfway houses through the program as of Dec. 19, 2018.

Halfway houses serve as temporary shelters for the rehabilitation and healing sessions of former rebels going through the process of reintegration.#