• Military welcomes former NPA rebels


    The military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) announced on Tuesday that the Armed Forces is welcoming about 241 former communist rebels this Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

    The group comprised of 203 male and 38 female former rebels boarded two C-130 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force and were flown to Manila from the Davao City International Airport.

    Maj. Ezra Balagtey, EastMinCom spokesman, said that the former rebels who surrendered to the military were mostly from the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte.

    “They are part of the 683 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels from different parts of Eastern Mindanao who were presented to the President on December 21, 2017, at Panacan, Davao City,” Balagtey said.

    Earlier this month, the first batch of former rebels arrived in Manila and where were toured around historic places such as Intramuros, Malacañang and Luneta Park.

    Prior to their trip to Manila, 50 of the 215 former rebels were enrolled in technical vocational educational courses at the Techincal Education and Skills Development Authority in Davao region, as part of the former NPA rebels’ integration into society.

    The second batch of former NPA fighters will participate in the same activity, Balagtey said.

    “The activity aims to give the [former rebels]a better perspective in life, particularly in peace building and nationalism. It is part of the government’s continuing program to reintegrate the former rebels into mainstream society,” he added.

    Armed Forces Chief Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero will lead the welcome ceremony this morning at the military’s general headquarters.


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