Twelve Friends Rescued (FRs) who surrendered to the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) received assistance from the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) amounting to a total of Php 240,000.00 after they were presented at Zamboanga Motors, Pagadian City on August 18, 2021.
ZamboSur Governor and PTF-ELCAC Chairperson Gov. Victor J. Yu personally handed the check to the FRs amounting to PhP 20,000.00 each FR.
Gov. Yu expressed his delight for the surrender of said FRs, encouraging those [NPAs] still in the hinterlands to surrender, lay down their arms, and avail government programs and services.”We encourage those NPA in the hinterlands to abandon the armed struggle and go back to the folds of law. We are happy that these FRs decided to change their lives; now, they can start their lives anew,” said Gov. Yu.
Meanwhile, 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera expressed his gratitude to Governor Yu and the PTF-ELCAC’s support to the FRs.
“We express our utmost gratitude to the PTF-ELCAC of Zamboanga del Sur for their support and sincere commitment to facilitate the FRs’ transition to mainstream society,” said Lt. Col. Herrera.