Rebels’ 'second shot' in life

NEGROS. Claiming to be victims of deceit, these former rebels are ready to take another shot in life by availing themselves of services and programs from the government. (Contributed photo)

INSURGENCY is one of the pressing problems in Negros Island for decades.

In fact, many people have already shed their lives, including civilians brought by this long and tiring armed struggle.

Through the years, though, some of those rebels left their armed struggle and went back to the government fold to finally renew their life and start again.

Unfortunately, many of them are stigmatized by the society for being former members of the rebel groups.

Most often than not, they are refused to be hired for jobs.

That's the reason why the Philippine Army, in cooperation with the different stakeholders, has mapped out livelihood programs to help these former rebels to have a second shot in life.

In Hinigaran town, for example, the local National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, together with the 62nd Infantry (Unifier) Battalion, Philippine Army, 32nd Civil Military Operations Company (CMO), 3rd CMO Battalion and the Philippine National Police, held a three-day Bamboo crafting training from February 23 to 25.

Four organizations under the Pilar Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Federation Incorporated benefited from the program.

These organizations were formerly attached to a peasant group, which the military claimed to be the legal front organization of the New People's Army.

These former rebels said they were victims of deceit, adding that the communist group used to depend on them for their financial, material and other logistic support.

Aside from bamboo crafting training, the former rebels also received 68 hectares of farm lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

They were also given fertilizers and seeds through the ng Joint Community Support Program of the 62nd Infantry Battalion, 32CMO Company, at 2nd Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company.