The 10 rebel returnees with Governor Jose Alvarez (7th from left) of Palawan, Col. Robert Velasco (8th from left) of WESCOM, and Gail Ablaña of PSWDO (1st from right) on December 21 at the Provincial Capitol Building. (Photo courtesy of WESCOM) 

 

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan -- Ten members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who surrendered in Palawan, received PHP25,000 each in livelihood assistance under the provincial government’s Local Social Integration Program (LSIP).

Governor Jose Alvarez and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (WESCOM) awarded the assistance to the surrenderers in a simple ceremony at the Governor’s Office at the capitol last Dec. 21, said Capt. Cherry Tindog, WESCOM spokesperson on Tuesday. 

Of the 10 beneficiaries, three were women. Most of the former rebels surrendered last September, following the conduct of focused civil and military operations, particularly in southern Palawan.

“I left the revolutionary movement for quite some time now. I surrendered as I want to clear my name because I was told I am in the military’s order of battle. Without surrendering, I still feel I am not free to roam around. I constantly worry about my safety,” said Rico Libuna, a former NPA fighter who surrendered last July 28.

A total of 26 more rebel returnees are being processed by the WESCOM and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and will receive livelihood assistance, Tindog added. (PNA)