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Sinong kumita? Gabriela wants House probe on fake rebel-for-cash scheme

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Gabriela Party-list group is eyeing sa congressional inquiry on the government’s rebel returnee program in light of the manipulated photo of alleged former rebels released by the Philippine Army.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which has a P260.40-million allocation under the 2019 national budget, “resembles a fake rebel-and-firearms for-cash raket as more controversies surface regarding its implementation.”

“Bukod sa pineke ang litrato ng umano’y rebel returnees, maaring pineke rin ang sinasabing 306 na sumukong rebelde para pagkakitaan ng mga korap na opisyal ng militar at mga kasabwat na LGU,” said Brosas.

Under ratified 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB), the program stands to receive an additional P106.1 million as part of the DILG’s 2020 budget.

The government allocates millions of funds to E-CLIP each year and not a single audit or review has been made regarding its implementation,” said said Brosas.

Under the E-CLIP program, each rebel returnee supposedly receives up to P165,000 including the maximum amount for firearms remuneration of P100,000, according to Brosas, it’s now an issue “who determines if the rebel is fake or not?”

“We fear that the program has become a milking cow for corrupt military men and partner LGUs as the total tally of rebel returnees is far higher than the estimated number of communist rebels,” said Brosas.

Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana last year said around 8,000 rebels surrendered to the government, but Malacañang keeps on saying that communist rebels are down to just 4,000.

“Tapos sinasabi nila, may 306 pang sumuko ngayong Holiday season on top of the hundreds who allegedly surrendered this year. Bakit mas marami ang sumuko sa mismong bilang ng rebelde? Dapat magpaliwanag ang AFP at DILG sa Kongreso sa iregularidad na ito,” she said.

Rep. Brosas said based on reports from the ground, the E-CLIP program” is being used by the military to terrorize communities and to force non-combatants to admit that they are communist rebels supposedly in exchange for cash.”

“This anomalous scheme on rebel returnees, which is in line with the government’s all-out war masked as whole-of-nation approach, must be stopped. Reintegration to a society marred by social injustices does not solve the root causes of armed conflict,” she said.

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