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DavNor Guv renews call for rebels to end armed struggle

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Philippines
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Govt. Philippines
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By Jan Leuterio and Jeanevive Abangan
Published on August 1, 2020

DAVAO DEL NORTE, July 30 (PIA) – Gov. Edwin I Jubahib has renewed calls for rebels to “step down” from the mountains and surrender since the government now prioritizes giving livelihood assistance to communities of Former Rebels (FR), Indigenous Peoples (IP), and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA).

“Dapat kung kinsa pa inyung mga kaila nga nagpabilin pa sa bukid, i-text. Pang istoryahe nga surrender namo kay nindot na kaayo ang atong kinabuhi human sa atong pag surrender (To people whom you know remain to be rebels, text them; tell them to surrender because there is a good life waiting here after you surrender),” Gov. Jubahib said to the crowd of former rebels during the recently held TESDA Skills Training Launching Program at Freedom Residences, Coambogan, Tagum City.

Citing a previous statement of a former rebel, Gov. Jubahib added that there is no longer a need for the rebels to keep fighting against the government.

Unya gikan sa inyong mga statement nga maglisod na ganig kaon ikatulo sa isa ka adlaw pirmente na gutom. Unya ang gi promise nga P2,000 nga ihatag sa pamilya kada bulan di na mahatag…wa nay pulos mag sigeg dagan2 makig away sa gobyerno (You said it yourselves that as a rebel you’re always hungry, you could barely eat three times a day. And the promised P2,000 monthly [by the NPA] to your family was not being given…there’s no reason to keep running around and fighting against the government),” he said reminding them of what they had confessed having experienced.

The Governor assured that the government will not neglect any rebel who returns because the government is now prioritizing giving livelihood assistance to the marginalized people.

“Ang gobyerno karon kamo nay naka sentro tanan apil ang mga IPs unsaon pag tabang sa mga marginalized na mga tao, mga GIDAs barangays (In the government now, the center is in helping the marginalized people; you, the IPs, the GIDAs, you are now the center),” he assured.

On top of the training and livelihood programs, the governor promised them a monthly income of no less than P3,000 when he launches his livestock multiplier program.

Speaking in behalf of the former rebel beneficiaries, Gemma Quiroga, a former rebel herself, expressed gratitude of the government’s help.

“Wala jud mi nagmahay sa among pag surrender diria, kay gitagad kami ug maayo sa gobyerno. Daghan jud kaayong salamat nga wala mi ninyo pasagdi (We never regretted surrendering because the government treated us very well. Thank you very much for not neglecting us), Quiroga said.

She also encouraged those who have yet to surrender to come down in order to be united as Filipinos.

On July 16, President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated 300 housing units produced by the National Housing Authority (NHA) that is now known as Freedom Residences intended to house rebel returnees.

On July 22, mushroom livelihood training programs such as mushroom production, mushroom processing, and meat processing were conducted by the Davao del Norte field offices of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as fruits and vegetable processing.

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapena attended the start of the training program with Governor Jubahib and Mayor Allan Rellon represented by Rogeneth Pagdilao Llanos of the City Employment Education and Skills Development Office among other government and military officials.

During the rites, TESDA Davao del Norte Provincial Director Arlyn Bandong explained that this TESDA training on mushroom production and mushroom-meat-vegetable processing “is a commitment of the government to provide alternative and additional source of income”.

In addition, Secretary Lapena said TESDA can bring in more training programs for residents of Freedom Residences such as masonry, carpentry, wielding and others they want to learn to start a livelihood or find employment. (PIA XI Jan Vincent Leuterio with Jeanevive D. Abangan)