Duterte wants national reintegration program for former rebels, terrorists

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 04:48 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2020 04:50 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a centralized government effort for the reintegration of former rebels and terrorists into civilian communities as the government moves to expand local efforts.

Duterte, through Administrative Order No. 25 signed on Wednesday, mandated “Task Force Balik-Loob” to lead the reintegration programs for former enemies of the state as well as the expansion of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

E-CLIP allows former rebels to avail of benefits such as livelihood, medical, education, housing, and even legal help.

“There is a need to expand the coverage of the E-CLIP to facilitate the reintegration to civilian life of other rebels who have similarly chosen to lay down their arms and become productive and law-abiding members of society,” the President said in the order.

The task force will be composed of representatives from the Office of the President, Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Housing Authority, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on Local Extremist Groups Concerns.

Under the President’s order, beneficiaries of the expanded reintegration program are former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New Peoples’ Army, National Democratic Front, and extremist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf group and the Maute group.

The task force will promote “genuine” reintegration by providing a “complete package of assistance” to help the former rebels and extremists adjust to local communities, the President said.