Eight rebel returnees from the New People’s Army’s so-called Bienvenido Vallever Command have received P25,000 each as financial assistance from the provincial government under the comprehensive Local Social Integration Program (LSIP).
The returnees received their financial assistance on April 13 from Abigail Ablaña, chief of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), and Col. Bob Apostol, deputy brigade commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBde) at Marine Base Rodolfo Punsalang in Barangay Tiniguiban.
“Itong matatanggap ninyo ay paunang tulong lamang ng ating gobyerno, pero habang tinutulungan kayo ng gobyerno ay inaasahan din naming tutulungan ninyong umangat ang inyong sarili. Ang pagbabagong buhay ninyo ay simula na rin ng pagyakap ninyo ng minimithing kapayapaan ng ating bansa lalong lalo na ng Probinsya ng Palawan,” Ablaña told the rebel returnees.
Col. Apostol said the rebel returnees whose deradicalization phase was supervised by the Joint Task Force Peacock (JTFP) received financial assistance from the LSIP after thorough background probes performed by the military intelligence community.
He said they are hoping that the financial aid will be used by the rebel returnees in setting up livelihood activities that can help ensure their re-integration back into mainstream society.
“The 8 former rebels were granted their LSIP benefits after undergoing thorough background checks by the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Coordinating Committee (JAPICC) to ensure that their intention to return to government fold is voluntary and free of deceit,” he said.
Ka Allan, one of the LSIP recipients and whose son is also being sent to school by the JTFP, said he is overwhelmed by the support that the government is giving them.
Ka Allan, a former top leader of the New People’s Army’ (NPA) command in the province, surrendered in November 2019 with seven others to the 3rd MBde.
“Sobra-sobra po talaga ang binibigay sa amin na pagtulong ng gobyreno. Unang una, ligtas akong nakababa sa bundok at mapayapa akong sumuko sa Marines. Pangalawa, inalalayan nila akong masuportahan ang aking nanay at anak, at ikatlo, binigyan nila ako ng perang magagamit ko para mapalago at masuportahan din ang aking anak na lumalaki. Hinding-hindi ko pagsisisihan ang pagyakap ko sa programang inihain ng gobyerno para sa aming mga nagbalik-loob. Sa abot ng aking makakaya ay tutulong ako sa gobyerno upang mahuli o sumuko na ang ibang mga dati kong kasama sa bundok,” Ka Allan said.
The JTFP/3MBde’s persistence in monitoring the documents of the former rebels was significant in fast-tracking the release of their LSIP financial assistance. It also proves that the Palawan Task Force ELCAC is sincere in its desired outcome to end the communist armed conflict in the province.