This is from the Tribune.
50,000 pesos is roughly 1,000 dollars US. That is a large sum in the Philippines especially in the poorer areas where the rebels are concentrated. However, those who turn in their weapons may suffer from revenge attacks by the Maoist rebels. Who knows some of them also may use the funds to buy better weapons!
Gov’t starts reeling rebels in with ‘cash bait’
If you can’t defeat your enemies, win them over — by dangling cash in their faces.
As part of its apparent two-pronged approach to achieve its goal of stamping out the communist insurgency in the country, the government has started to entice the “enemy” to surrender by offering payment of an amount of money under a program it created for so-called “rebel-returnees.”
Even as the proposed Amnesty Law is still pending approval in Congress, the Arroyo administration has announced that it has started to implement its Social Integration Program (SIP) for surrendering members of the communist rebel movement in the country and has been giving out P50,000 for every M-16 rifle that yielding guerrillas lay down.
In a press statement it issued out yesterday, Malacañang said it has recently welcomed the initial batch of 49 New People’s Army (NPA) rebel-returnees who received a total of P2.45 million worth of livelihood assistance under the SIP.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said each of the 49 who surrendered were given P50,000 to help them get reintegrated into the mainstream of society and to enable them to start a fresh life as “ordinary” and peace-loving citizens.
OPAPP chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr., a former Armed Forces chief, earlier revealed the government’s move to offer P50,000 for every M-16 assault rifle turned over by an NPA rebel returnee. He, however, did not say if the cash dole-out was strictly and exclusively to be given out to rebels who lay down an M-16, or Armalite rifle, or if it also applies to any other kind of surrendered firearm, including handguns.
Esperon moreover said the P50,000 is on top of a P20,000 immediate cash assistance an NPA rebel returnee would get from the government.
Meanwhile, NPA guerrillas ambushed Army troops in Compostela Valley province, killing six soldiers and wounding two others, the military reported yesterday.
According to Army 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, Col. Alan Luga, a 14-member military unit was going up the mountainous village of Manurigao, in New Bataan town around 1 p.m. Friday when NPA gunmen set off landmines that were buried in the soldiers’ path and started shooting at them. The soldiers fought back and a gun battle that lasted for 30 minutes ensued.
The attack killed six government troops, including an officer who had been assigned to liaise with local officials ahead of a planned mission next month by military doctors on the impoverished hamlet.
The fatalities were identified as a certain Lt. Domingo, a Cpl. Maglantay and certain Private First Classes Cino, Membrillos, Mohamadnur and Narval.
Two other soldiers, identified as certain Private First Class Espanola and Private Pabay, were wounded in the clash. With Gina Peralta-Elorde and AFP