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PIA Press Release

KRs to become member of country's backbone

By Dave M. Suyao

Agusan del Sur (18 June) -- Another 57 former rebels or "Kauban sa Reporma" (KRs) receive financial and livelihood assistance worth more that P2 million from the government during the 42nd founding anniversary of Agusan del Sur on June 17, in time with the closing program of the 17th Naliyagan Festival.

After the livelihood skills and moral recovery seminar conducted on June 1- 5, 2009, 30 KRs were awarded capital goods worth P50,000 each as livelihood assistance while another 19 received P20,000 immediate assistance and another eight who were not served during the mass awarding of immediate assistance last 30 this year.

Aside from capital goods and immediate assistance, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) also gave the KRs 34 carabaos, one unit mud boat, three units motorcycles, one sprayer and two plows because most of them identified farm implements and working animals during the livelihood skills and moral recovery seminar.

In an interview, Lando (not his real name for security reason), 28 years old, said they only realized the meaning of freedom and life itself when they decided to go back to the folds of the law few years ago. After hiding and hard struggle in the mountains believing in false principles for several years, they now experience how the government love them, and how sweet life is when one is free.

"Sa kadugayon namong nag tagotago ug nagsakripisyo sa kabukiran tungod sa sayop nga prinsipyo, karon pa kami nahigmata nga wala diay kami pasagdi sa atong gobyerno ug unsa ka hayahay sa kinabuhi kung kami gawasnon", Lando said.

In her message, Gov. Maria Valentina Plaza of Agusan del Sur, said peace and order is a main ingredient of development all over the world. With the joint effort of the national and local governments, these KRs who once sow terror and fear in the countryside, will become partners of the government and the community in the development process and progress.

"Few years from now, with the assistance extended by the government to our KRs, we will never encounter food shortages in our tables because many of them are farmers and will soon become the backbone of our country. Our prayers in Agusan del Sur were heard by the heavens above, and now we see and feel the blessings that our Almighty have showered upon us as the answers to our prayers", Gov. Tina Plaza said.

It can be recalled that the provincial government under the administration of then Governor Adolph Edward Plaza, in partnership with the Office of the President, have relocated and extended livelihood assistance to some 19 former rebels. The provincial government and the Office of the President have given them raw houses, farm equipments and land to cultivate to start their new life. Today, they are producing rice, vegetables and handicrafts as their livelihood while benefiting the community of their products. (PIA) [top]

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