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101 Former Rebels, Receive Cash Assistance; Thousands of Residents Attended Masbate's First Peace Caravan

 

 

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-At least one hundred one rebel returnees in Cawayan town, Masbate province received an immediate cash assistance from the government during the successful Peace Caravan at the Cawayan Municipal Gym in Barangay Poblacion Wednesday, October 30.

 

Aside from the said financial assistance, most of these former rebels who decided to return to the folds of the law and join the mainstream of our society will also be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) where additional livelihood, educational and other forms of assistance will be given to them. 

 

Municipal Mayor Edgar Condor considered the event as a breakthrough in the government's campaign to resolve the insurgency especially in their province which has long been a stronghold of communist terrorists.

 

Furthermore, he urged his constituents to actively support their newly created Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) and the numerous programs it is set to launch. 

 

The peace caravan is the first convergence in the said province which was attended by at least four thousand five hundred residents who pledged to rally with the government's campaign to push the armed conflict to its natural death. 

 

As a symbol of its strong commitment to Executive Order No. 70 (EO 70) or the Whole-of-Nation Approach, Mayor Condor, the Battalion Commander of 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) LTC NAPOLEON G PABON JR and other local officials signed the MTF-ELCAC commitment wall before a symbollic releasing of doves.

 

With the presence of the Commander of Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) MGEN FERNANDO T TRINIDAD AFP, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Anthony Nuyda, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Arnel Garcia, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional Director Engr. Arnel Dizon and National Housing Authority (NHA) Regional Director Alberto Perfecto and the representatives of other government agencies, 21 Barangay Captains attended the executive meeting where they were able to raise and discuss various concerns in their respective areas.

 

Meanwhile, Gen. Trinidad encouraged the local chief executives to be on board and help President Rodrigo Duterte in our collective goal to resolve the insurgency before his term ends.

 

"Wala pong iuunlad ang isang lugar kung may problema tayo sa seguridad. So ang seguridad po ay hindi lang problema ng militar, hindi lang po problema ng pulis, hindi lang po problema ng gobyerno, problema po nating lahat yan. Kung hindi po tayo magtutulungan, hindi po matatapos 'tong problema na 'to," he added.

 

[Development will not be achieved in a place where there is security problem. Security is not just the problem of the military, it is not just the problem of the police, it is not just the problem of the government, it is everybody's problem. If we will not work hand in hand, this problem will not be solved.]

 

According to MGen Trinidad, snail-paced development is observed in places where there is a presence of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) that is why he discouraged the public officials and other entities to provide any form of support to the CTG members and their ill motives to the community.

 

He also reassured the people of Cawayan of the JTFB's intensified operations to preempt the armed rebels atrocities and continuing support to promote socio-economic programs and services in the province.

 

After the executive meeting, the residents were able to receive different services which includes free medical and dental check-up among others.

 

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offered free trainings while other government agencies present also conducted information dissemination about their existing programs.

 

On the same day, the municipality also signed a resolution declaring communist terrorists as persona non-grata.