MANILA — For a rebel returnee, there is life after an armed struggle. (images used as illustrations only)
This was proven by “Kim” (not her real name), a former rebel in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, as she is scheduled to graduate from senior high school this March and is planning to take business and finance in college.
In a statement Saturday, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Kim was one of the thousands of former rebels who availed of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP, which is being administered by Task Force “Balik Loob”.
Kim wanted to send a message to her former communist terrorist group comrades: There is a peaceful and productive life awaiting them should they decide to surrender and avail of the E-CLIP.
She also expressed her gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte and the government for giving her and other former rebels a second chance at life.
Her foray into the communist rebel movement started when she was asked to attend indoctrination sessions, which escalated into her being a medic tasked to care for wounded and sick New People’s Army (NPA) fighters.
Kim said she regretted this decision as this forced her away from her family and her studies.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Kim is now enjoying E-CLIP benefits, such as housing, livelihood, health, and education.
She is also being supported and protected by a nearby Army unit while studying.
Kim is also helping the Philippine Army prevent other youths from being lured by the false promises of the communist rebel movement.
The Communist Party of the Philippines – NPA has been listed as a terror group by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
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Source: By Priam Nepomuceno, Philippine News Agency (PNA)