9ID spearheads 2-day FR summit 2021

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur, Feb.1 (PIA) – A total of 31 Former Rebels (FRs) attended a 2-day FR Summit spearheaded and organized by the 9th Infantry “Spear” Division from Jan. 29 to 30 at the division’s headquarters, here.

Representatives from TESDA, DSWD, NHA, and DILG also provided lectures and brief training to the FR attendees.

No less than the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, LTGEN Cirilito E. Sobejana PA personally graced the occasion. He was also invited as the activity’s keynote speaker.

LTGEN Sobejana expressed his happiness for the opportunity to see the FRs face to face and personally relay the vision that the government has for them. Sobejana added that the E-CLIP program is just an additional benefit that the FRs can get in exchange of their decision to return to the folds of the law.

FR summit attendees receive a token during the 2-day Former Rebel Summit 2021 held Jan. 29 and 30 at the 9ID HQ,, Pili, Camarines Sur. (Photo credits: 9ID DPAO)  

“Ang importante dito, makamit natin ang kapayapaan, katahimikan, 'yong matutulog ka sa gabi na hindi ka mangangamba namagkaroon ng putukan. Napakasarap namnamin 'yong undisturbed 'yong ating pagtulog at pag hanapbuhay. I am looking forward that with your right decision ay lalong magsusulong ng katahimikan at kapayapaan dito sa rehiyon ng Bicol (What is important here is that they get what they actually want – peace, serenity- the fact that they can sleep well at night without worrying if an encounter will occur. I guess they now feel how good it is to sleep and work undisturbed. I am looking forward that with your right decision, the more that we can push our desired peace and order in the Bicol Region.)," Lt. Gen. Sobejana said.

After seeing the attendees and listening to some of their testimonies, the  commanding general affirmed that the growing support of Bicolanos will actually lead to finally ending the communist insurgency.

The activity to assist the former members and supporters of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) to start over again after returning to the folds of the law is also a testament of the government’s sincerity.  

Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) Spokesperson CAPT John Paul Belleza said that some of the FRs also shared their willingness to rally with the government's campaign to end communist insurgency.

“The support of FRs is also overwhelming and this is a proof that they can really feel the concern of the government for them to lead a better life and abandon the ideology that they were wrongfully made to believe is right,” Belleza added.

MGEN Henry A. Robinson Jr., PA Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) and 9ID Commander expressed his appreciation for the FRs participation during the summit, more so the presence of Commanding General of the Philippine Army, LTGEN Cirilito E. Sobejana PA as keynote speaker. (Photo credits: 9ID DPAO) 

Another FR also encouraged other Bicolanos and his former comrades not to turn a blind eye on the CTG's deceptions and terrorism.

“Kami po ay patuloy na nananawagan sa mga natitira sa kabundukan na ang pagkakataong ito ay bigyan nating pagpapahalaga para matapos na ang problema. Hindi po ito matatapos na problema kung patuloy na magbubulag-bulagan at magbibingi-bingihan at susunod sa maling ideolohiya. Sana po ay maging bahagi kayo ng nagbalik-loob sa ating pamahalaan. Patuloy po kaming nanawagan sa lahat ng ahensya ng gobyerno lalo na sa ating mahal na Pangulo na itong programa ng Whole-of-Nation Approach at EO 70 ay ipagpatuloy at gawing sustainable para matapos na ang problema (We call on our brothers who are still on the mountains to give themselves a chance to end this problem. If we continue to be blinded, the more this problem will persist. We also call on other government agencies, particularly our President, to continue the Whole of Nation approach program and EO 70 to make this program sustainable to end this conflict once and for all.)," said 'Rodel' (not his real name).

MGEN Henry A. Robinson Jr., PA Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) and 9ID Commander said that the division is very honored that Lt. Gen. Sobejana was able to grace the event.

"Lt. Gen. Sobejana personally mentioned that the soldiers do not want to wage a war or be at war with the FRs. That is why, we reach out to these former rebels because we want them to feel that we are here for them, we don't want them to get left behind,” Robinson said.  

“Ganito rin ang gusto nating mangyari para sa mga natitira pang CTG members kaya hindi tayo titigil hangga't hindi natatapos ang armadong tunggalian na ito. Ang mabuti ngayon, lalong dumarami ang kakampi natin. (This is also what we want to happen to the remaining CTGs that’s why we will not stop until this armed struggle is not yet over. The good thing, is more is more are on our side now.) Once we continue joining our hands towards our goals and aspirations, we will win this fight," MGen. Robinson added. (LSMacatangay, with reports from CPTJPBelleza, DPAO-PIAV/Camarines Sur)  


Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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