WESCOM commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos (4th from left) hands a financial assistance cheque to one of the former rebels on November 4. Also in the photo are PSWDO chief Abigail Ablaña (2nd from left), and other provincial government and local DILG officials. | Photo from WESCOM Public Affairs Office

Eight ex-members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and militia ng bayan received P65,000 each in aid from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) at the Western Command Training and Transient Facility on November 4.

They also received financial assistance from the provincial government of Palawan through the Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) in the amount of P25,000 each.

The Palawan government, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), worked with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and WESCOM to make sure that the financial assistance was given out.

“We all have high hopes that this financial assistance your received today will help you to start your lives anew with your loved ones,” said Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, the commander of WESCOM.

Carlos said since the beginning of 2022, the large number of former rebels have turned themselves in.

“Returning to the fold of the law is the best decision these former rebels have made and we hope that their former comrades in other parts of the country will do the same so we can all have a better Philippines,” Carlos added.

To date, a total of 214 former rebels have benefitted from the local government’s LSIP and the national government’s ECLIP.

He urged Palaweños to keep the bayanihan spirit alive to safeguard the province’s internal security gains, to continue working together for progress and good governance, and to prevent the resurgence of the rebels in the province.