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5 Manobos, alleged rebels, return home

Five alleged former rebels who earlier surrendered to the 24th Infantry Battalion in Abra Province were formally turned over to the Bukidnon provincial local government unit over the weekend.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said the five members of the Manobo tribe surrendered to the 24th IB last July 5.

Escorted by personnel from the 5th Civil Relations Group and 7th Civil Military Operations Battalion, the five rebel returnees, together with their families, arrived in Cagayan de Oro on July 27, 2018.

Balagtey identified them as alias Marco, 18, from Barangay Cabanglasan, Malaybalay; alias Jomar, 17, from Barangay Namnam, San Fernando; alias Gerald, 17 ; alias Macoy, 18 ; and alias Deboni, 19, all from Barangay Cawayan, San Fernando, Bukidnon.

In the report made by Brig. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, they located the families after receiving information about their surrender. They also facilitated the trip back to Bukidnon.

Accordingly, sometime in August 2017, they were recruited to work in Manila in piggery with a promised salary of ₱8,000. They arrived in Metro Manila via Cagayan de Oro on a passenger ship.

The claimed that they were brought to an Aeta/IP village in UP Diliman and later on made to join a protest rally in Metro Manila.

Sometime in September 2017, they were sent to Abra to join the NPA group in the area until their surrender last month in Tumalib, Licuan, Ba-ay, Abra.

The surrenderees were formally turned over to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) Committee of Bukidnon in a simple ceremony at the headquarters 403rd Infantry Brigade in Camp Osito Bahian, Malaybalay, Bukidnon on July 28.

Each surrenderee received ₱10,000 as cash assistance from the Bukidnon under Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. The money is apart from the assistance they will get from E-CLIP program.

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