Ending Insurgency

DA turns over Cattle for Former Rebels

The Matapat Farmers Association whose members are all Former Rebels (FRs) of 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) received hybrid cattle from the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 9 during a turnover ceremony held on October 5, 2020, in Brgy. Lenienza, Pagadian City.

The FRs will take home their individual cattle. Their cattle’s health will then be monitored by their Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO).

In line with Executive Order 70 which institutionalizes the Whole-of-Nation approach to end the local communist armed conflict in the country, this will also help the FRs in their transition to mainstream society.

According to DA-9 Regional executive Director Rad Donn Cedeño, this cattle dispersal is just one of the ways the DA can help the FRs and contribute to completely ending the communist armed conflict.

Zamboanga del Sur Governor Hon. Victor J. Yu in his message also encouraged the rebels still in the hinterlands to avail of these programs and initiatives of the government.

In a statement, 53rd IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said the 53rd IB gives premium to the welfare of Former Rebels.

“They are our brothers and sisters now. We do our best to take care of them, and ensure their smooth transition to mainstream society,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.

“In behalf of the FRs, we promise to take care of these cattle. We are forever grateful to the Department of Agriculture, the government, and the 53rd IB for their help to us FRs,” said the Matapat Farmers Association president in the local dialect.

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