Press Release
June 23, 2021

Bong Go assures former rebels of support from the government for reintegration

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go urged members of rebel groups such as the New People's Army to return to the fold of the law as he assured them of government support to start their new lives as reintegrated members of society.

In an interview during the distribution of assistance to displaced workers in Tupi, South Cotabato on June 22, Go assured rebels who will surrender that he and President Rodrigo Duterte will warmly welcome them should they choose to reintegrate themselves into society.

"Ako, bilang inyong Senador at bilang inyong public servant at bilang Pilipino, alam n'yo ayaw ko pong nagpapatayan ang Pilipino kapwa Pilipino. 'Pag may namamatay na sundalo, sumasakit ang dibdib namin ni Pangulong Duterte," said Go.

"'Pag may namamatay na rebelde, sumasakit rin po ang dibdib namin ni Pangulong Duterte," he added.

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict was created through Executive Order No. 70 in 2018. It institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace by creating the NTF-ELCAC and adopting a National Peace Framework.

"Tandaan natin, mayro'n din pong mga pamilya ang mga 'yan na nasasaktan. Kaya sa mga rebelde, mayro'n naman pong magagandang programa ang ating gobyerno," assured the Senator.

"May pinirmahan na po si Pangulong Duterte to encourage po na magbalik loob na po kayo sa gobyerno. Bibigyan ho kayo ng livelihood, bibigyan ho kayo ng assistance. Kung sa tingin naman po ninyo na makakatulong po ito sa inyo, magiging tahimik ang inyong buhay," he mentioned.

According to EO 70, the whole-of-nation approach addresses the root causes of insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, and other armed conflicts and threats by prioritizing and harmonizing the delivery of basic services and social development packages by the government. It also includes facilitating societal inclusivity, and ensuring active participation of all sectors of the society in attaining the country's peace agenda.

The government agencies involved in the NTF-ELCAC provide assistance through various programs dedicated to help NTF-ELCAC achieve its target goals. One of which is the Department of Social Welfare and Development wherein it provides assistance through cash grants to former rebels.

The agency's Livelihood Settlement Grant, under its Sustainable Livelihood Program, which is in support of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the government, aims to provide financial aid to such individuals so that they can become productive members of their communities.

Meanwhile, the Senator assured that President Duterte will provide all kinds of assistance to those who will surrender, including housing, livelihood and education for their children.

"Nakikiusap po ako sa inyo, magbalik loob na po kayo sa gobyerno at tulungan n'yo na lang po ang ating gobyerno, si Pangulong Duterte," Go said.

"Wala pong ibang napaka-sincere na kausap, with all sincerity ang ating Pangulo when it comes to dealing with the left," he added.

President Duterte also signed Administrative Order No. 10 institutionalizing the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program which are focused on reintegration efforts of former rebels in their respective localities as well Administrative Order No. 25, expanding the former AO's coverage to include FVE's or Former Violent Extremists, among other amendments.

Go noted that Duterte has accommodated concerns of leftist groups, manifesting his sincerity to achieving peace and prosperity in the country.

"Noon pa 'yan, binigyan nga n'ya po ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo sa kanyang gobyerno. Gano'n po kasinsero ang ating Pangulong Duterte," recounted Go.

"Please lang po, sa mga kapatid kong Pilipino, sa mga rebelde sana po'y mag-isip-isip kayo at magbalik loob na po kayo sa gobyerno," he concluded.

Go, in his own capacity, has been assisting former rebels who chose to rejoin the rest of society. On December 2, 2020, his office sent assistance to 160 former communist rebels in Valencia City, Bukidnon who surrendered under the government's End Local Communist Armed Conflict Program.

He sent similar assistance to 896 former rebels coming from various municipalities of the province of Bukidnon in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, on March 4.

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