The number of rebel returnees to be presented today to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. to avail of livelihood and financial assistance rose to 12, as four more members of the New People’s Army gave themselves up to the 303rd Infantry Brigade, military records show.
Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd IB commander, yesterday said the surrender of 12 rebels brought to 63 the number of insurgents who renounced the armed struggle since the middle of last year.
Lactao added that the new batch of rebel returnees formerly occupied various positions in the rebel movement.
He said the series of surrender of rebels started in July last year, after they figured in 17 encounters with the NPA in northern Negros, until December.
Lactao added they have also noticed a drop in the sightings of armed rebels and their extortion activities, citing testimonies of the populace and farmers in northern Negros.
In March, 15 rebel returnees received P150,000 in livelihood assistance, including P5,000 each in financial assistance from the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
The livelihood assistance included 400 heads of week-old chickens, 15 piglets for fattening, six bags of hog grower feeds and chick booster mash, and veterinary drugs, among others.
Two weeks ago, five rebel returnees, who surrendered to the 302nd Infantry Brigade in Negros Oriental, also availed of P55,000 each in livelihood and financial assistance from the national government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process.*GPB