Issue of February 9, 2020
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Rebel returnees form as a group in Kalinga
by Peter A. Balocnit / PIA

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Municipal chapters of the Kalinga Returnees Association (KRA) in at least three towns of the province are now organized to help government achieve peace.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Max Mayer Adong said officers of the returnees associations of Balbalan, Pasil, and Tinglayan recently took their oath before their respective mayors.

Adong said the KRA was first organized with Marcelino Velasco Ibana as its president and   accredited as a civil society organization by the sangguniang panlalawigan.

He said the returnees associations will be closely guided in order for them to become a strong partner in ending insurgency in the province.

“This only shows that government is ready to accept rebels returning to the folds of the law,” Adong said.

KRA members and those in the municipalities have already received their benefits under the Expanded Comprehensive Local Integration Program. The documents of two former rebels are on process and upon approval, it will make them eligible to receive benefits.

Ibana said they embraced the offer of the government for their integration to mainstream society seeing the sincerity of the Duterte administration.

“Now that we are recognized by the government, we also have to respond by helping the government in its efforts to unite the country towards achieving a common goal,” he said.

The KRA through its president wrote President Rodrigo R. Duterte for financial assistance to support their projects and activities.

Adong added an operation center will be opened at their office to synchronize the activities of the End Local Communist Armed Conflict Task Force members.

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