The military has already tallied 87 communist rebels who surrendered in Northern and Central Luzon for the month of January.
“For the first month of the New Year, a total of 87 former rebels have already returned to the folds of the law and yielded a total of 16 assorted firearms,” said the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) based in Tarlac province in a statement released on Monday.
The surrenderees from the New People’s Army (NPA) are now fulfilling requirements to avail themselves of benefits from the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, which is part of the Duterte administration’s “whole-of-government” approach to end the insurgency.
The program offers housing, education, health care, livelihood financing and cash to rebels who surrender, while a firearm turned over to the government would be compensated for P50,000.
In 2020, the military claimed at least 396 communist guerrillas turned themselves over to the government with 96 firearms.
The Nolcom said 222 of the NPA rebels who have surrendered has so far received P15.9 million in assistance, while another 174 are still waiting for the release of government aid to them to establish their livelihood.
Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., Nolcom commander, said the increasing number of NPA rebels who are returning to the fold of the law shows the insurgency in Northern and Central Luzon was “on the brink of irreversible collapse.” SOVEREIGNPH