By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY --- At least seven suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and 44 mass based supporters of the communist movement on Monday (Feb. 19) surrendered before military authorities in Milagros town in Masbate province, the Philippine Army 9th Infantry Division (9ID) reported.
The surrenderees were formally presented to Maj. Gen. Jesus Manangquil Jr. commanding general of the 9th ID, in a formal ceremony held at the 2nd Infantry Battalion Headquarter in Barangay Bacolod, Milagros, Masbate, according to Army Col. Ferozaldo Paul Regencia, the 9ID spokesperson.
Regencia said the 7 NPA rebels, 24 mass based supporters and 20 members of the ‘Militiang Bayan’ on Monday formally returned to the folds of the law.
The rebels also surrendered two M16 rifles, a Cal. 30 Garand rifle, three .38 cal revolvers and a .45 pistol.
The former communist rebels and mass based supporters were formally enlisted in the government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) that Manangquil said would provide them with livelihood and shelter assistance.
Meanwhile, the provincial government of Masbate and DILG-V started the construction of P5M worth Half-Way House project under the CLIP to provide shelter to the former rebels as they undergo the process of reintegration in the mainstream of the society. Along this line, the 9th Infantry Division also intensifies its Community Support Program activities in various areas of the province to facilitate the delivery of basic services and help address the needs of local communities.
With additional report by Luis Eli San Jose