493 former Aurora rebels, supporters get sacks of rice from government

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By Jason de Asis

BALER, Aurora-Nearly 500 former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the province each received a sack of rice as an early Christmas gift from the government.

The Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion and the Aurora office  of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) facilitated the distribution of free government rice to 493 former rebels (FRs) and supporters on Nov. 14-18 as an early Christmas gift.

Lt. Col. Julito B. Recto, Jr., commander of 91st IB said that the distributions were in line with the FRs transformation program which aims to ensure their successful integration into mainstream society and strengthen the resiliency of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG)-cleared communities.

“It’s our commitment to help FRs towards their reintegration into society and providing them with the support they need to rebuild their lives. We are always on their side as part of our commitments to their journey of a new way of life for peace, prosperity and development,” Recto said.

Each officer and member of the 17 Peoples Organizations (POs) organized by 91st IB received 25 kilos of rice with a total of 250 sacks.

“This is our way to bring hope and happiness to our FRs, more assistance will be given by the government as one way of sustaining the gains after winning the peace in the community,” Recto said. Meanwhile, all of the POs Presidents expressed their sincerest thanks to 91st IB and OPAPRU for the early gifts they received.

“We are happy for the gifts, it’s nice to live a normal life and be a partner of the government. We are grateful for the overwhelming support coming from 91st IB and OPAPRU,” they said.

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