Two MILF commanders get cash reward in Balik Baril program
Islamic City of Marawi (7 October) -- The army's 65th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the 9th Infantry Division (ID), released cash assistance to members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who surrendered and availed of the government's Balik Baril program.
In a short ceremony conducted yesterday, two commanders of the MILF Northern Mindanao Front were formally awarded with cash incentives as payment of their surrendered firearms.
Lomantong Bagonte, known as Totong or Aguila, Commander of 1st Battalion, 212Brigade of the 102nd Base Command got P19, 000 for the M203 he surrendered.
On the other hand, Pangalian Ampuan, Brigade Commander of 101st Brigade of the 101st Base Command, received a sum amounting to P40,000.
Ampuan, also known as Alex, surrendered one M16, two M79, and two RPG.
Earlier, the 65IB troopers planted assorted seedlings to two hectares land owned by the former MILF commanders as part of the government's pledge of providing livelihood packages to the rebel returnees.
Lt. Col. Jed G. Motus, Commanding Officer of the 65IB, meanwhile, appealed to the rebel returnees to use the money in lawful and income generating activities that could alleviate the living conditions of their families.
He also urged them to encourage their former comrades to lay down their arms and join the mainstream of the society.
The government's Balik Baril program is aimed at encouraging insurgents to return to the folds of the law.
Under the program, surrendering rebels are provided cash incentive equivalent to the firearm they yielded to the government and livelihood assistance for them to start a new life. (PIA-Marawi/65IB) [top]