REGIONAL-NEWS

Caraga, 2nd Region to demilitarize surrendered firearms, manifests government’s sincerity in ELCAC

April 20, 2021

The DILG-CARAGA conducted the second Demilitarization of the Surrendered Firearms destroying a total of 220 firearms turned in by 88 former rebels in Agusan del Norte province and Butuan City followed by the Awarding of Assistance to the Former Rebels (FRs) on April 14, 2021 at the PNP Regional Office 13 Parade Grounds, Camp Rafael C Rodriguez, Libertad, Butuan City.

DILG Regional Director (RD) Lilibeth A. Famacion said that the demilitarization of firearms shows the government’s sincerity and commitment to end the insurgency by destroying the very instruments used in the propagation of lingering armed conflict. It is also aimed at transparency and full disclosure by both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Famacion welcomed the former rebels to a new peaceful life and reminded them to fully use all the assistance provided by the government in starting anew with their families.

The demilitarized firearms consisted of long firearms, crew-serve weapons, short firearms, and sub-machine guns. These were destroyed using four circular saws donated by the Provincial Government of Agusan del Norte to ensure that no parts of the firearms can be recycled or re-used.

The DILG also turned over to 88 FRs, 86 of whom were from Agusan del Norte and two from Butuan City, the financial assistance packages amounting to a total of P8,978,800 through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in support of the operationalization of the "whole-of-nation approach" known as Executive Order (EO) No. 70.

The financial assistance consists of immediate assistance of P15,000, livelihood assistance of 50,000, reintegration assistance of 21,000, and the doubled amount for their firearm remuneration.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also gave cash assistance, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, food packs and committed to provide livelihood package to the FRs while the Department of Health (DOH) provided a healthcare benefits package. The Department of Agriculture (DA) provided vegetable seed packs. The Philippine National Police (PNP) gave a grocery package.

Also, the reintegration assistance to receiving units to be used in the processing of the deradicalization activities to FRs was awarded by RD Famacion and DILG-Agusan Del Norte Provincial Director Ellen Vee P. Chua. This is still part of the E-CLIP reintegration process.

In the message of DILG Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Security Alexander Macario delivered by RD Famacion, he lauded the region’s efforts and stressed that this is one of the best and most effective ways in communicating to the general public that there is only one true government - one that provides, cares, endures, and gives utmost importance to the synergy between peace and development.

Famacion led the activity together with Agusan del Norte Provincial Governor Dale B. Corvera, Agusan del Norte 2nd District Representative Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, and Butuan City Administrator Reynante B. Desiata.

Also in attendance were PNP Regional Office 13 Regional Director PBGEN Romeo M. Caramat, Brigade Commander, Philippine Army BGEN Maurito L Licudine of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, PMGEN Marni C Marcos Jr., PNP Caraga Acting Director of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations, member agencies Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF ELCAC) and Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Agusan del Norte, and representatives of different regional line agencies of Caraga.