Jeffrex G. Molina, the assistant Chief of the Public Affairs Office of
the 8th Infantry Division, informed that the awarding of an initial
cash benefit of P20,000 to each of the former rebels was done on March
26, 2010, at the conference Room of the Eastern Samar Provincial
Capitol in Borongan City.
The checks were
personally handed over to the beneficiaries by Mr. Florentino Somera,
Jr., Regional Coordinator of OPAPP in Region VIII, Mr. Rebamontan Gil,
Provincial Social Works and Development Officer of
Eastern Samar, Captain Sergio Sabiano, Jr., Commanding Officer of
801st Brigade, and Col. Jaime Ferdinand Hidalgo of the 141 Battalion.
Mr. Somera said that
the government will continue to review the said program in order to
address the much needed support for the former rebels who returned to
the folds of the law.
This will encourage
more rebels who are still in the underground movement to avail of the
program, Mr. Somera said.
Mr. Somera informed
that the beneficiaries will also be receiving livelihood benefits that
will be awarded as soon as the validation for their papers has been
This was the second
time last week that the OPAPP awarded such benefits to former rebels
who voluntarily came back into the folds of law.
It would be recalled
that a similar activity was conducted in Provincial Social Welfare and
Development Office in Catarman, Northern Samar on March 25, where four
(4) former rebels were also awarded with the same amount.
The activity was
withnessed by the commanding officers of 803Bde, 20IB and 63IB
together with Mrs. Carmen Mejia the Provincial Social Welfare and
Development Officer of Northern Samar, who handed over the cash
benefits to the former rebels.
Both Provincial Social
Welfare and Development officers of the two provinces assured the Army
units and the OPAPP representatives that they will continuously assist
the former rebels until they are totally re-integrated in the society.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen.
Arthur I. Tabaquero, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division
of the Philippine Army, conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to all the
stakeholders who shared their part and support to increase the numbers
of rebels who turned their backs against the sole reason why peace and
development of the country is hard to achieve.
MGen. Tabaquero is
also expressed his optimism that with the increasing number of rebels
who are showing interest to follow the track of their former comrades
in going back to the womb of the government.
Sooner or later, Samar
and Leyte provinces will also be declared as insurgency free areas
just like Bohol and
Cebu which will further boost up their economic condition.
In closing, General
Tabaquero once again called upon the brothers and sisters whom he
considered as victims of the communist terrorists’ deception, to lay
down their arms, and return to the main stream society so that genuine
peace and democracy will prevail and will bring forth development in