CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Another batch of former rebels (FR) who will meet the President in Malacañang arrived in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City Tuesday, February 20, 2018 via two Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft.
The group is composed of 241 FRs mostly from Compostela Province and Davao Del Norte with 38 females and 203 males. They are part of the 683 former NPA rebels from different parts of Eastern Mindanao presented to the President on December 21, 2017 in Panacan, Davao City.
The Joint Task Force – National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) is assisting them in their tour to historical and heritage trip to Luneta Park and Intramuros. A welcome ceremony was held Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo hosted by AFP Chief of Staff Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero prior to their visit to Malacanang to meet the President.
The FRs will also be interacting with other former NPA members who now work as advocates of peace and development.
The activity aims to give the FRs a better perspective in life, particularly in peace building and nationalism as part of the government's continuing activity of reintegrating former rebels to mainstream society.
JTF-NCR Commander, BGen Alan Arrojado said “better life awaits former rebels who were to go back to the folds of the law through enhanced government programs”.
"The former rebels realized that they were just deceived and manipulated by the Communist NPA Terrorists,” he added.
The second batch of FRs’ tour is expected to conclude on February 22, 2018 while the schedule of the third batch will be determined later by the Appointments Office of the President. It can be recalled that the first batch composed of 215 FRs were toured in Manila and met President Duterte in Malacañang last February 7, 2018.
The AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command reported that 50 of the 215 were enrolled to undergo Technical-Vocational Education Training with TESDA XI as part of their social integration program, on February 16, 2018.