CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – At least 20 former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) from various areas in Central Luzon were given hope through a program for them to return to society's mainstream and live peacefully with their families.
Col. Rommel A. Velasco, head of the Regional Community Affairs and Development Division 3 (RCADD 3), said on Friday the Akap Kapatid program was launched on Thursday in the region to prepare former rebels for reintegration into society.
The new program is led by the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO 3), in collaboration with the 7th Civil-Military Operations (CMO), 7th Infantry Division (ID), Philippine Army (PA), and Central Luzon Cadre Team.
Velasco said the program is a psycho-social intervention program and has two phases with the short term focusing on the self-assessment, psychosocial program, and confidence-building of participants.
The long-term will focus on the general welfare of the rebel returnees on how they can return to the community and live peacefully and sustainably.
“The most important is that they will be radicalized, the way they view the government will change and we have shown that the government looks after their welfare,” Col. David Poklay, head of the Regional Intelligence Division 3, said in official social media account post.
Aside from lectures, the former rebels were also given grocery packs through the PNP’s BARANGAYanihan Libreng Ayuda.
Brig. Gen. Narciso Domingo, PRO 3 deputy regional director for administration (DRDA), thanked the rebels who chose to surrender and urged them to convince others to join them by surrendering their weapons to the government.
He assured that the PRO 3, along with other member agencies of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC), would continue to assist rebel returnees in their peaceful and successful reintegration into society.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)