MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela Women’s Party is pushing for a congressional inquiry on the government’s rebel returnee program as soon as Congress resumes session in January, in light of the manipulated photo of alleged former rebels released by the Philippine Army.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas said the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), which has a P260.4 million funding for this year, resembles a fake rebel-and-firearms for-cash racket as more controversies surface regarding its implementation.
Next year, the program stands to receive an additional P106.1 million as part of the DILG’s 2020 budget.
“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. 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 Brosas.
“Each rebel returnee supposedly receives up to P165,000 including the maximum amount for firearms remuneration of P100,000 under the E-CLIP. But 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.
The Gabriela lawmaker noted that exactly a year ago, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said around 8,000 rebels surrendered to the government. But the government 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. (CurrentPH/Stacy Ang/jGo)