BUTUAN CITY: The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in Caraga Region led Wednesday the destruction of 220 assorted firearms previously surrendered by former communist New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas last year until the early part of 2021.
During the activity at the headquarters of the Police Regional Office in Caraga (PRO-13) in Barangay Libertad here, government officials headed by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-13) Director Lilibeth A. Famacion also distributed financial aid to 88 former rebels from this city and Agusan del Norte.
The former NPA combatants also received healthcare and housing package benefits under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).
“It is a fresh start for our FRs (former rebels) as they rebuild their lives amidst this time of the pandemic. I hope that the beneficiaries will honor their commitment and pledge of allegiance to the government,” said PRO-13 director, Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., in a statement Wednesday.
Caramat also expressed optimism that the surrender of hundreds of NPA fighters would inspire other rebels “to make up their minds and return to their families and communities”.
The firearms destroyed include 29 M16 rifles, 14 M14 rifles, 27 AK47 rifles, 15 Garand rifles, 50 Shotguns, eight .22-caliber rifles, seven crew-serve weapons, 49 short firearms, and six sub-machine guns.