SOME 100 former communist New People's Army (NPA) terrorists in Zamboanga del Norte are set to receive housing units from the government through the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-Elcac).

The houses that will be given to former NPA rebels are part of the 200-unit housing project of the government in Poblacion village, Godod, Zamboanga del Norte.

The housing project is a joint effort of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-Elcac) headed by Governor Roberto Uy, Godod Municipal Task Force-ELCAC headed by Mayor Abel Matildo, National Housing Authority (NHA headed by Engineer Clemente Dayot, and other partner agencies.

The remaining 100 of the 200 units will be granted to internally displaced Indigenous Peoples who belong to the Subanen and Kalibugan tribes.

General Cirilito Sobejana, AFP chief-of-staff, joined the other military and government officials in the groundbreaking ceremony Monday, May 31, which signaled the start of the housing project.

"This activity is a big step towards liberating our constituents from the grips of deception, treachery and violence of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs). It is a strong reminder that the government will always do its best to support and assist our fellow Filipinos who lost their way, gave up on their violent struggle, and now want to live a peaceful and normal life," Sobejana said.

In his speech, Sobejana formed the phrase "God-Oriented Development through Open Dialogue" (Good), which corresponds to the town's name and aspirations.

"I believe that through open dialogue among community leaders, citizens and stakeholders, we shall continue to uplift the town of Godod towards lasting peace and further development,” Sobejana said.

He expressed his gratitude to the NHA, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and the Municipal Government of Godod in making the housing project a reality.

"Not only that we will provide a modest shelter for former rebels and IPs and their families, we are likewise building a safe and progressive community for them to live productively for the rest of their lives," he said.

Also present in the groundbreaking ceremony were officers from the AFP General Headquarters and ground commanders from Zamboanga del Norte, to include Brigadier General Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, and Brigadier General Anthony Cacayuran, 54th Engineer Brigade commander. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (