By Paulo Loreto Lim
Earlier this week, the Iloilo Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), through its Comprehensive Local Integration Program, provided a total P195,000 to three residents of Barangay Cabatangan in Lambunao, Iloilo, claiming to be former rebels.
Following a meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council at the Provincial Capitol, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. led the turnover ceremony, which provided each former rebel with P65,000.
According to Philippine Army 301st Infantry Brigade deputy commander, Colonel Leonardo Peña, the three surrendered to the government last August, which resulted in the government seizing three rifles and one .45-caliber pistol.
Compensation for the turned over firearms has yet to be determined, he added.
Earlier this month, while speaking at the La Castellana centennial celebrations, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. called on rebels to surrender, promising livelihood assistance in exchange.
“I would like to appeal to those who are still there, [in] the mountains, to return to the [fold] of government,” he said. “We are ready to give assistance.”
Among the support the governor offered included livelihood assistance and scholarships to the children of those who chose to surrender./PLL, WDJ