Four rebel-returnees in Kalinga awarded cash assistance under SIP
Tabuk City, Kalinga (28 February) -- Four rebel returnees (RRs) were given cash assistance and are undergoing integration to the mainstream society under the government's Social Integration Program (SIP). They are part of the 57 RRs received by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacanang when they opted to return to the fold of the law.
Col. Eliseo C. Posadas, Deputy Commanding Officer of the 501st Brigade, Philippine Army said the four members of the New People's Army (NPA) operating in Kalinga voluntarily surrendered recently with their firearms (FA) on separate occasions to the 21st Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Antonio Lastimado.
According to Battalion Civil Military Officer 1Lt. Jay Alambra, those who surrendered are Jimmy Addang-na alias Ka Drigo/Jack with two 2 M16 Armalite rifles; Mateo Kimmayong aka Mark with his M16; Melchor Casay aka Jun Jun with an M16; Bernard Bagsao aka Matar/Binsar/Glo with his.38 revolver and a homemade carbine. Bernard is formerly the vice team leader of Samahang Yunit Pangpropaganda (SYP 1) of Kilusang Larangang Gerilya (KLG) Baggas, the NPA unit operating in Kalinga and Apayao provinces.
Alambra said the 4 RRs decided to lay down their arms because of the hardships they suffered in the organization. They have suffered various sickness in the mountains without care from their leaders. "We were deceived from the false promises of NPA cadres. Now we condemn the CPP-NPA-NDF for their Godless and wrong ideology," Alambra quoted the former NPAs as saying.
President Arroyo awarded on Feb. 23 a total of P1.14 million as immediate economic assistance, under SIP, to 57 rebel-returnees in simple rites at the Heroes Hall in Malacanang. Each of the RRs received P20,000 as immediate cash aid to start life anew in mainstream society. The 57 rebel-returnees are from the Cordillera Autonomous Region (6), Pampanga (13), Panay Island (7), Bicol (5), and Caraga (26). Eight of them are women.
Under SIP and the Amnesty program created through Administrative Order No. 172, a rebel returnee receives remuneration for surrendered firearm, explosives and ammunitions. And an immediate assistance allowance of P20,000.00 while undergoing the process requirements for the grant of socio-economic intervention worth P50,000.00 to start a business if opted.
If they surrender their M16 or M14 rifles, they will also each receive an additional P50,000 for each firearm, and equitable amounts for similar firearms, explosives or ammunition surrendered.
Those desiring to go back to school are also given P20.000.00 assistance for their school needs and the provision of capability building and skills training, livelihood and employment opportunities to those wanting to establish business.
They can be granted amnesty under PP1377 promulgated by Pres. Arroyo on Sept. 6, 2007, upon concurrence by Congress the extinction of criminal liabilities for acts committed in pursuit of political beliefs and their civil and political rights restored if qualified. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]