CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Three former Communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) who voluntarily surrendered to 6th Infantry Battalion were presented in a ceremony here at the Kampilan Clubhouse yesterday (June 23).
The former rebels decided to yield to take part in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and other benefits provided by the local government unit.
The three were previously under Cherry Mobile Company, West Daguma Front, South Regional Command of Far South Mindanao Region (FSMR) in the hinterlands of South Upi, Maguindanao. They held key positions in the group as the political instructor, commanding officer and liaison.
In a short ceremony, the rebel returnees handed over their firearms to Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon and Vice-Mayor Imelda Estorninos with 603rd Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Wilbur C. Mamawag.
Miles Leary, John Eraga, and Marin Kuner, who have chosen the path of peace, abandoned the communist terrorist group because they grew tired of the armed struggle and thanked the government for accepting them for the program.
The local government of South Upi also provided an initial cash assistance to start their new lives with their families. They will also be entitled for the benefits of E-CLIP as part of their reintegration process, such as livelihood package and firearms remuneration.
Vice-Mayor Estorninos said the local government is very willing to help the rebel returnees.
“The former rebels who previously surrendered to government were provided with employment by the LGU to provide them the long-term source of living to provide for their families,” added Vice-Mayor Estorninos.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Carreon thanked the LGU of South Upi for the initial help provided for the former CNTs.
“I encouraged the LGUs to fully understand what the authority is given to them in order to pursue the local peace initiative with the CTG,” Maj. Gen. Carreon said.
Currently, the surrenderers were brought at 6th IB Headquarters in North Upi for processing of their documents.