40 Former NPA Rebels Receive Uniforms, Supplies in 53IB’s Project Good Life

At least 40 former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (NPA) rebels received school packages including uniforms, shoes, and other supplies as part of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion’s (53IB) Project Good Life for Friends Rescued (FRs) during a simple turn over program held at 53IB Headquarters Camp David Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur on March 19, 2021.

In accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the 53IB’s Project Good Life with the theme: “Threading the Path to Fulfillment and Happiness with FRs (Friend Rescued),” is a 12-month Pneuma-Psyche-Soma Holistic Wellbeing and Mental Health Psychoeducation Program for at least 50 FRs who surrendered to the 53IB.

Spearheaded by Registered Guidance Counselor and Psychotherapist Dr. Moibe Olitres, the project highlights “Good Life Academy”, an experiential learning system designed to provide a school-like environment for FRs.

“As we aim for achieving the good life that we want, I challenge all the FRs to strive hard to achieve their dreams, exert efforts but take note that it entails sacrifices to earn something. So now, this is your chance to become somebody just like other successful people. This is the time to go to school and to be knowledgeable. Let us take this opportunity to have a good life,”Guipos Municipal Mayor Vicente Cajeta as the Guest of Honor and Speaker.

“We are doing this not for ourselves but to glorify God in terms of serving Him. We can change the world by being kind and humble and by establishing a good foundation. One FR told me that he is so happy about his experience in this project and he felt that the government is caring for them contrary to the manipulated words that were fed to them by CPP-NPA rebels,” Dr. Olitres said.

“I am so happy with what I have received today. I am so overjoyed because of this experience that I haven’t experienced before. I was not able to go to school because we were poor. Now, I am able to go to school,” Analyn, an FR participant said.

“Thank You to all the people who are behind this program. I am so happy and thankful for recognizing us as we start anew. I hope that many more rebels will return to the government so that they would also experience what we are experiencing now,” Jessie, another FR participant said.

“Project Good Life would be an important part of our FRs’ journey to a better life as responsible and productive members in our peaceful communities,” 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said.

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