Press Release
December 4, 2023

Bong Go pushes for reintegration and support for rebel returnees

As he continuously advocated for former rebels to embrace a new life as productive citizens, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go emphasized the Philippine government's task of helping these former insurgents reintegrate into society with the support they need to provide for their families.

"Masarap ang buhay dito sa bayan, ang hirap po sa bundok. Magbagong buhay kayo, balik-loob kayo sa gobyerno," said Go in an ambush interview on Thursday, November 30, during the groundbreaking of the Super Health Center in Malabon City.

"Ako ay nasasaktan tuwing may mga rebeldeng namamatay at lalo na po kapag sundalo ang namamatay. Dahil para sa akin, Pilipino rin po ang mga 'yan at may mga pamilya pong naiiwan 'yan. Importante ang kapayapan. Wala na po dapat na patayan, sino ba namang gustong magpatayan. Masakit makitang kapwa Pilipino laban sa kapwa Pilipino," he stressed.

Go reiterated his call for rebels to surrender and avail themselves of government reintegration programs, "Bumaba na lang po kayo at magbalik-loob kayo sa gobyerno. Mas maganda dito sa bayan kaysa diyan sa bundok."

"Ngunit ako po ay nananawagan pa rin, alam n'yo may programa naman po ang ating gobyerno, Balik-Loob noong panahon ni (dating) pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte na engganyuhin ang mga nasa bundok na bumaba na kayo dito."

Previously, Go expressed his support for President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s decision to grant amnesty to former rebels and insurgents. Go emphasized the root causes of rebellion, citing poverty and lack of government services as key factors. With this, he continues to push for improved housing, education, health, agriculture, and livelihood programs to encourage rebels to reintegrate and live peacefully instead of taking arms against the government.

Highlighting the need for continuity of such initiatives, Go also welcomed the ongoing efforts under President Marcos Jr. to encourage rebels to surrender in order to realize the goal of long-term peace in communities.

Go elaborated on the significance of the Balik-Loob Program under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), which aims to reintegrate former rebels into mainstream society by offering various forms of assistance and legal protections.

The Balik-Loob Program, officially known as the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), is a key initiative of the Philippine government. Managed by Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL), the program commends the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its role in positively transforming the lives of former rebels.

Created by Administrative Order No. 10 in 2018 during the time of Duterte, the TFBL serves as the central coordinating body for the government's reintegration efforts for members of the CPP-NPA-NDF, including their immediate families.

A standout feature of the Balik-Loob Program is the Balik-Loob Lending Program, a loan facility provided by LandBank. This lending program is one of the benefits of E-CLIP, aimed at helping former rebels establish or expand businesses, thereby facilitating their successful reintegration into civilian life.

Meanwhile, Go denounced the reported continuing recruitment of students into the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

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