Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez (4th from left) hands the cheque for the cash assistance to a rebel returnee on May 31 at the Provincial Capitol Building. With him are DILG provincial director Rey Maranan, and PSWDO chief Abigail Ablaña (face partially shown). (Photo courtesy of WESCOM)

Seven former rebels have received P90,000 in livelihood cash assistance from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP).

Governor Jose Alvarez, representatives from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Western Command (WESCOM) handed the financial assistance to the former rebels on May 31, 2019.

WESCOM commander Vice Admiral Rene Medina said in a statement Monday that the implementation of the LSIP and the ECLIP “for reconciliation and reintegration of former rebels into the society shows that the local and national governments are earnest in attaining peace and order.”

“The number of rebels surrendering since the implementation of the LSIP in 2013 is a good indicator that our peace programs are doing well in the province. We hope for more surrenderers to come down and voluntarily surrender. Rest assured that we will help them in their reintegration to society so they can start lives anew with their loved ones,” Medina said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Stephen Penetrante, acting chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of WESCOM, said they are also monitoring the former rebels who received the assistance.

“Nakabantay tayo sa kanila pati na rin ang mga task forces upang i-guide sila, itong mga former rebels. We all wish that they go back in the folds of the law. So far wala naman ng bumabalik sa bundok kasi tinutulungan natin,” Penetrante said also Monday during the WESCOM’s regular press conference.

The E-CLIP is the fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to providing former rebels a good life once they return to the folds of society, he said.

“The program is a strategic flagship program of the Duterte administration and is seen as an effective means of achieving the government’s peace and development agenda,” Penetrante added.

3MBDe and Joint Task Force Peacock (JTFP) deputy commander Col. Edwin Amadar was also present with DILG provincial director Rey Maranan and PSWDO chief Abegail Ablaña.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.