12 former rebels commit as peace, dev’t advocates
BUTUAN CITY, July 29 — Twelve former rebels (FRs) agreed to become peace and development advocates after undergoing a four-day Deradicalization Training conducted by the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade held at the headquarters in Brgy Bancasi of this city on July 18 to 21, 2020.
The 12 FRs who have recently surrendered to the OPCON Battalions (23IB, 26IB and 58IB) of 402nd Brigade were selected to undergo the said training to encourage them to assist the government in its peace and development initiatives and contribute in the capitulation of ideological belief of their comrades that will hopefully transform their outlooks towards peace.
Their narratives and testimonies may also enlighten the youths especially the student sector and young professionals to be wary of the recruitment schemes of the CTG.
In his message during the opening program, Col. Cerilo C. Balaoro, Jr, deputy brigade commander of the 402nd Brigade, encouraged the FRs in their journey towards transformation and their reintegration back to the mainstream society.
He stressed the importance of the FRs who will volunteer as 3rd party advocates in enticing remaining communist terrorist group (CTG) members to surrender and become a living testimony of the government’s program for former rebels under the Enhanced – Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and its initiatives to address the pressing concerns that caused the insurgency problem.
The deradicalization program is part of the E-CLIP process and a critical component of reintegration of the former rebels back to their communities. It redirects them from their deceptive views and delegitimize the CNT rhetorics and tactics in order to complete their transformation that will lead them to leave the path of violence and false indoctrination.
One of the highlights during the training was the psycho-social moral recovery session wherein the FRs conducted personal reflection and deepening of commitment.
To cap the activity, the FRs have expressed their support; accepted their past mistakes and start a new life with their acceptance; and commitment to become peace advocates.
The training was culminated with a closing ceremony attended by Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Infantry Brigade commander, as the keynote speaker.
BGen. Licudine emphasized the importance of the deradicalization training and expressed his gratitude to the FRs for the willingness and commitment they demonstrated during the training.
“I am really glad that all of you here are able to join the training and actively participated in the activities. This only proves that you shun involvement from CTG and wholeheartedly accepted and decided to support the government this time,” said BGen. Licudine.
He also said that FRs are the most credible person to convey the message of hope and to encourage the remaining CTG members to surrender and reconcile with the government.
“Kami isip parte sa kasundaluhan, mitoo kami nga dili pinaagi sa armadong pakigbisog ang solusyon arun masulbad ang atung problema karun. Busa sa inyung pagka intresado sa boluntaryong pagtabang sa atung gobyerno, kauban na kamo sa tahas nga magpahilona sa hunahuna sa inyung kanhing kauban nga ang gobyreno mutabang kanila ug naningkamot nga ayohon ang kinabuhi sa matag-usa kanato og hinay-hinay nga ibalik sa sakto nga kinabuhi ang atung mga kauban nga nagsurender og mutahod na sa atung bandila, sa atung gobyerno, ug sa atung konstitusyon,” BGen. Licudine said. (Maj. Francisco P. Garello, Jr., CMO Officer 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade/VLG/PIA-Caraga)