GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE. Mayor Rogelio Raymund Tongson Jr. of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental turns over financial assistance to a former CPP-NPA rebel in rites held at the City Hall grounds on Sept. 27, 2022. Of the 25 recipients, 15 got cash aid worth PHP10,000 each while 10 others received PHP5,000 each. (Photo courtesy of 94th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

BACOLOD CITY – Some 25 former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental have received at least PHP200,000 in financial and educational assistance from the city government.

In a report on Thursday, the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion (IB) said 15 were recipients of cash aid worth PHP10,000 each while 10 others, who have gone back to school, were given PHP5,000 each.

Capt. Eduardo Rarugal Jr., civil-military operations officer of the 94IB, told the Philippine News Agency this group of former rebels surrendered in July this year.

“They used to be combatants and Yunit Militia members,” he added.

The financial and educational assistance, facilitated by the City Social Welfare and Development Office, was turned over by Mayor Rogelio Raymund Tongson Jr., together with Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade, and Lt. Col. Van Donald Almonte, commanding officer of 94IB, in rites held at the City Hall grounds on Sept. 27.

The former rebels also received food packs, hygiene and home kits from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

In his message, Tongson commended the 94IB troops for bringing peace and order to the city’s hinterland communities.

“The local government unit of Himamaylan is doing its best to deliver the basic services and reach these areas. Help is on the way,” he added.

Pasaporte also expressed gratitude to the Himamaylan City Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for providing support to the former rebels.

“Working together towards our common goal is the key in ending local communist armed conflict not just in central Negros, but in Negros Island as a whole,” he added. (PNA)