Eight members of the Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 1 of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the 16th Infantry Battalion were presented to Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio at the army headquarters in Barangay Dalisay, Panabo City on Monday.
The mayor promised that they will be provided with livelihood and financial assistance to help get back to their lives.
The youngest of the rebel returnees was just 18 years old while the oldest was 23.
In a press briefing yesterday, Duterte credited the collective effort of the barangay local government, the military, and the private sector through her flagship program, the Peace 911, to introduce development in the far-flung communities and help drive away the communist guerrillas.
Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, the commander of 10th Infantry Division, said the eight surrenderers are members of PBC 1, who was under the leadership of Ka Jinggoy before he was arrested.
“They have helped us in our operation already and hopefully, they can also encourage their comrades to come down and avail of the government program,” he added.
He said the rebel surrenderers will be used as an example of the government’s sincerity to help the former rebels by providing them with services and support so they can leave peaceful lives as civilians.
Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres, the commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said 172 former rebels have already surrendered to the 16th Infantry Battalion, 3rd IB and 89th IB. Of the total number, 87 were regular members of the NPA.
For the same period, the three battalions recovered 94 firearms and 56 improvised explosive devices. They were also able to clear 48 barangays from the rebel influence.
“We have all done this because of the help of the surrenderees since most of the neutralized surrender are not neutralized during encounter but during surrender,” Torres said.
The mayor said the surrenderers were already referred to the battalions operating in the area so they can be processed to determine eligibility to join the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) or the assistance program coming from city government of Davao.
“For now, the process is good, usually if there are barangay captains who will tell me they are bringing surrenderers, I direct them to the battalion,” she said.
The E-Clip will provide them P50,000 in livelihood assistance and P15,000 immediate assistance. They can also get access to a housing component with a total assistance of as much as P450,000.