DON VICTORIANO CHIONGBIAN, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL – As part of the whole-of- nation approach in attaining sustainable peace, a visit to the mountainous area of Lake Duminagat, Don Victoriano Chiongbian by the Enhanced Comprehensive Localized Integration Program (E-CLIP) committee members and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 10th and 15th Infantry Battalions on Monday, June 24 came as a welcome surprise to the barangay residents who are mostly members of the Subanen tribe.
DILG Misamis Occidental Provincial Director Pablio Benitez, Jr. said that the visiting team distributed new slippers, clothes, school bags and materials for sch at the local school.
“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],” Benitez said.
During the service caravan, the E-CLIP committee also conducted their Community-Based Monitoring of eight Former Rebels (FRs) who have already returned 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.
At the home visit, 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],” he said.
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.
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.