CASH AID. Agusan del Norte Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante (center) hands over the PHP100,000 cash aid on Wednesday (Jan. 25, 2023) to couple Maximo Vibas Sr. and Jennifer Gabo, former New People’s Army rebels who surrendered to the Army's 29th Infantry Battalion on Jan. 1, 2023. The former rebels will use the cash aid for their daily needs as they wait for their livelihood assistance from the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. (Photo courtesy of 29IB)

BUTUAN CITY – A New People’s Army (NPA) couple who surrendered to troopers of the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion (IB) on New Year's Day has received a PHP100,000 cash aid from the Agusan del Norte provincial government, a military official said Thursday.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Cresencio Gargar, 29IB commander, said former NPA rebels Maximo Vibas Sr. and Jennifer Gabo accepted the cash from Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante on Wednesday.

Before his surrender, Vibas served as the squad leader of the NPA Sentro de Grabidad 16, Guerilla Front 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

The couple also led the 29IB troopers in the retrieval of seven high-powered firearms a day after they turned themselves in.

“The couple will utilize the cash aid as they wait for the livelihood assistance they will receive under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program,” Gargar said.

The 29IB, he added, also helped Gabo reunite with her son in Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte, whom she did not see for more than four years.

“Gabo was reunited with her son last Jan. 16, in time for the child’s sixth birthday,” Gargar said.

Amante asked the couple not to be deceived again by the propaganda of the NPA movement.

“We feel sorry for your comrades who died believing in the wrong ideology and for those who still sacrifice there in the mountains while your (leaders) are the ones getting rich,” she was quoted as saying. (PNA)