By Eldie S. Aguirre,
Davao del Sur Bureau Chief
DIGOS City — At least 14 rebel returnees of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion received a total of P700 thousand from the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (Clip) from the local government of Davao del Sur yesterday.
Lt. Col. Ronnie Babac, 73rd IB commander, said the money released from Governor Douglas Cagas during the hand-over ceremony at the provincial coliseum will serve as their livelihood assistance for them to earn a living while they are in the process of joining the mainstream society.
“The livelihood assistance awarded to the former rebels is a successful collaborative effort of the provincial government, PNP-Davao del Sur, and the 73rd IB in support to the unit’s mission and the effort of the government for a permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflict in the country,” Babac said.
Cagas, the provincial Clip chairman together with Department of Interior and Local Government provincial director RemediosBaldovino, Col. Tyne Banas the commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, and Babac handed over the checks of P50 thousand each to the rebel returnees.
Babac said aside from the said livelihood assistance the former rebels also received immediate cash assistance of P15 thousand each during the Peace Summit of Former Rebels fro Davao del Sur on April 27 at the Mer Grande Beach Resort in Toril, Davao City.