Gov’t provides assistance to ex-NPA in Davao

April 8, 2010 11:02 am 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 8 — A New People’s Army (NPA) insurgent, who surrendered to the military, has received P170,000 financial through the government’s Social Integration Program (SIP), officials disclosed Thursday.

Capt. Emmanuel Garcia, public affairs officer of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the largest amount is the cash renumeration of P100,000 for the 90-mm Recoilles Rifle surrender by Romeo Bangilun alias Ka Bayot.

Garcia said a P100,000 check was turned over Wednesday by Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, Philippine Army chief, to Bangilun when the latter visited the troops in the Davao region.

Garcia said the turnover of the check was witnessed by Brig. Gen. Eduardo del Rosario, chief of the Army’s 1003rd Infantry Brigade and other top officials of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

Bangilun also received, through the government’s SIP, P20,000 as immediate cash assistance and a livelihood package of P50,000.

Mapagu, who personally accepted the voluntary and peaceful surrender of Bangilun, expressed his happiness on the surrender of the latter as he urged other NPAs to peacefully surrender.

“We are glad that another misguided brother has returned to the folds of the law who was deceived and promised a better life by the communists but suffered only hardships and pains while in the underground,” Mapagu said.

“We call on our misguided brothers to lay down their arms as what Romeo did and take the peaceful path to change for our country’s progress.” Mapagu added.

Bangilun told the military officials in Davao Region that he was recruited in 2006 by his sister Imelda Lintubad, a member of the NPAs Front Committee-35 operating in Paquibato District, Davao City.

Bangilun said he was convinced to join the underground movement with a promise of receiving P7,000 monthly salary and P700 each for his four children as part of the NPAs "Suporta sa Pamilya" (SuPamil) scheme.

However, Bangilun said the promise was not fulfilled so he decided to surrender.

Bangilun surrendered through the efforts of the Lumas Tribal Council. Lumad leaders have been convincing fellow Lumads who are in the underground to go back into the fold of the law.

Bangilun thanked the authorities as well as the government for the help extended to him.

“The good relationship established by soldiers in Lumad communities paved the way for the tribal council to help the government in its peace efforts,” Maj. Gen. Carlos Holganza, chief of the Army’s 10th Infantry Divison, said.

While in Davao region, Mapagu visited the4 wounded soldiers at Panacan Station Hospital in Davao City.

Mapagu said they are in the process of visiting the major camps of the Army to boost the morale of troops.

“This (visit) is also a part of our regular assessment of troop capabilities and to enhance the welfare of field units so as to ensure a responsive Army ready to thwart any threats to the nation’s peace and security.” Mapagu added. (PNA)

FFC/TPG/mec

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