Monday, September 19, 2011

P500 thousand pesos awarded to Abra former rebels

BANGUED, Abra, September 20, 2011-A total of five hundred thousand pesos was given as financial assistance by the Department of social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ten former rebels at the provincial Capitol.

The former New People’s Army (NPA) were awarded 50,000 pesos each by the government through the Social Integration Program (SIP) of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) identified as Igan B Luebyang, Jaime P Luis, Samuel C Gamsawen, Jimmy C Monlingit, Vilma S Valera, Viado S Cayyong, Junjun G Sibalo, Ariel B Sibalo, Joel J Fransisco, Villamor T Bringas and Carmelita B Balweg, the wife of Jovencio Balweg, a former NPA commander and the brother of the late rebel priest Fr. Condrado Balweg.

Governor Eustaquio Bersamin of Abra advised the former rebels to spend their money wisely and invest it in business or livelihood venture for it to be sustained.

Col Eliseo Posadas, the commanding officer of 503rd Brigade and Lt. Col. Noel T Baluyan, the commanding officer of 41st IB, Philippine Army witnessed the ceremony.

“We have called it Local Peace Talk (LPT). We are asking the remnants of NPA here in Abra to go down and surrender. In our level in the military, we will give 15,000 pesos to rebels who will surrender with their arm. We will then turn them over to the DSWD for guidance counseling and then to Gov. Bersamin for them to avail the financial livelihood assistance that will be given to them by the Governor.” Posadas said.

The Social Integration Program (SIP) is a government program that involves a set of intervention for ex-rebels and their dependents. SIP is under the supervision of the National Committee on Social Integration under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) The committee was created by virtue of Administrative Order 172; Creating the National Committee on Social Integration (NCSI) tasked to implement the SIP for rebel groups.

“The goals of SIP are both short and long term. The immediate goal of the SIP is the improvement of security condition (restoration of peace and security) to allow for peaceful social and economic activities, while the long term goal is the sustained social and economic re-integration of former rebels into a peaceful society,” Posadas said. (Jason de Asis)

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