By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Guihulngan City Task Force To End Local Armed Conflict (GCTF-ELCAC) turned over cash assistance of P225,000 to 26 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Negros Oriental last Tuesday.
The assistance was made possible through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, which enables rebel returnees to start anew with their families and become part of nation-building.
These former NPA rebels voluntarily surrendered to the military and the GCTF-ELCAC, according to a report from the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion (IB).
Meanwhile, the four unidentified NPA rebels, who were killed in an encounter with military troopers in Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, were laid to rest on March 4.
The 94th IB in collaboration with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Himamaylan City, facilitated their burial in the city’s public cemetery after their remains were not claimed by their families three days after the clash happened on March 1.
According to the Army, the remains were already in the advanced state of decomposition, making it difficult to identify them.
Prior to that, an alleged NPA rebel, who was reportedly part of the rebel group that clashed with the Army in Barangay Carabalan on March 1, surrendered to the 94th IB two days later. He also surrendered to the authorities an M16 rifle, a bandolier, and ammunition.
The Army provided him with medical assistance, food, and other basic necessities. He will also undergo the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which provides social, economic, and psychological support.