May 8, 2024

As a result of the whole-of-nation approach against communist terrorist groups, there are no more active guerrilla fronts in Northern Samar, according to Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos.

“Wala ng mga guerrilla fronts dito ayon sa Philippine Army (PA),” Abalos confirmed.

According to the PA, while there are still sightings of seven roving vertical formations of New People’s Army in the province, the barangays are no longer supporting these CTGs.

The DILG Chief was in Catarman, Northern Samar where he led the distribution of over P160K worth of livelihood and financial assistance under the DILG-administered Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration (E-CLIP) program to 16 former rebels.

The 16 former rebels each received P15,000 immediate assistance, P50,000 livelihood assistance, and firearm remuneration.

In his address, Abalos stressed the importance of providing the basic needs of a community such as water, electricity, schools, and well-paved road to usher sustainable progress and peace, after being declared insurgency-free.

“Mahirap kapag papabayaan na lang natin ang isang barangay ‘pag alis ng mga pulis at army. We can only achieve this peace by having this kind of interventions sa grassroots mismo –kalye, tubig, kuryente, eskwelahan,” he said.

He continued: “What is important is dapat ma-sustain natin itong mga projects na ito na ginagawa ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Marcos.”

Abalos likewise lauded Northern Samar Governor Edwin Marino C. Ongchuan for granting additional financial and other assistance to the former rebels.

The Northern Samar provincial government provided P30,000 remuneration for firearms; housing units; and farmlands for agriculture development; and hired the former rebels as farm workers with a daily wage of P350 each.

Abalos also met with the members of the Joint Regional Task Force 8-ELCAC to map out strategies to achieve the target of making Northern Samar an insurgency-free province.

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