Zamboanga City, August 25 (PIA) – The Regional Task Force to End Local Communists Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) and Zamboanga Del Sur Governor Victor Yu believe that Former Rebels (FRs) defy the government because of misinformation about it and its programs, during the recent 1st Western Mindanao FRs Summit held at the 102 Brigade Compound, Ipil Town, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Governor Yu said FRs were totally misguided by wrong information. “I know, you merge with other combatants because you have many reasons and misconceptions about the government but I believe it leads to coalesce because all of you were misguided and misinformed,” Governor Yu said.
A testimony from Peewee [not his real name], a former rebel leader was also being heard.
Peewee, (not his real name), a former rebel said “masasabi ko ngayon na mali ang paniniwala at iniisip ng mga nasa bundok na kapag ikaw ay sumuko, sasaktan ka. Saksi ako at nakita ko na taliwas ito sa kanilang paniniwala at hindi ako sinaktan dito”.
[I can now say that those in the mountain believe and think that when they surrender, they will be hurt. I am a living witness and I saw that this is contrary to their beliefs and I was not harmed at all].
Governor Yu also emphasized that the government is doubly working hard to give the best for the Filipino people.
“You have already experienced that as former rebels on how you were treated nicely by the national government now and we need your help to make insurgents realize that they have a better future here than fighting there in the uplands,” Governor Yu appealed.
On the other hand, the governor also committed to compensate “P20,000 incentives for those rebels who will surrender and P10,000 will be given to an individual FR who will be able to convince their comrades to go back to the folds of law”.
Moreover, the regional agencies and departments of the RTF-ELCAC shared their plans and programs for the FRs such as a housing program from the National Housing Authority (NHA), jobs and opportunities being offered by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), free technical education and trainings from the Technical Educations Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) and many more.
In spite of the conflicts between the New People’s Army-Communist Party of the Philippines (NPA-CPP) and the government, “we still encourage them to be one with the government and help us stop the spread of misinformation to their fellow combatants”, Yu disclosed. (JRA/PIA9-Zamboanga City)
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