DON VICTORIANO CHIONGBIAN, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL – Residents of Barangay Lake Duminagat were surprised to see the E-CLIP committee of Misamis Occidental together with the army’s 10th and 5th Infantry Battalions bringing along new slippers, clothes, school bags and materials for kids at the local school, Monday, June 24, 2019. This is part of the committee’s efforts in implementing a whole-of-nation approach to provide top-quality government service in attaining sustainable peace.

The committee also conducted their Community-Based Monitoring of Former Rebels (FRs) to know their status and progress. The village has eight surrenderees brought back to their homes and families through the reintegration program. According to the monitoring team, feedback from the FRs have been “increasingly positive” since they have received assistance from the E-CLIP – contrary to leftist claims that the said program is non-existent.

“Tumong sa administrasyon na mapasabot sa inyo na ang gobyerno wala nagbiya og kanunay naghatag sa gikininahanglan na suporta maski asa mo dapit sa nasud [The administration wants you to understand that the government has not abandoned you and will always provide you with necessary support wherever you are in the country]”, says DILG Provincial Director Pablio Benitez, Jr. to the residents as they received goods from the service caravan.

 Intelligence reports provided on E-CLIP briefings suggest that more leftist members are considering to surrender to the AFP and avail of the government’s reintegration program as they see it as a chance to start over. The government sees successful FRs as a key component to an inclusive and holistic national development.

On one interview on site, an FR points out the difficulties of hollow promises and joining and living with the leftists. “Pagnakasulod na ka, maglisud gyud ka og hawa. Parehas na sila sa prisohan – og tanan nilang gisaad, wala gyud natuman [Once you’re in, they make it hard for you to get out. They’re like a prison – and all their promises never came true].”

 Residents of the village were appreciative of the operation. In a collective expression, the barangay chairperson of Lake Duminagat remarked that these activities “seldomly reach us here and we are truly grateful for these initiatives.”

Barangay Lake Duminagat is situated some three thousand feet above sea level within the Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park in the province and is home to 100 farming families composed mostly of members of the Subanen Tribe.