Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council Chairman and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and DILG-CAR Regional Director Marlo Iringan with Police Regional Office – Cordillera Regional Director BGen. R’win Pagkalinawan and Philippine Army 503rd Infantry Brigade Commander BGen. Henry Doyaoen awarded the cash assistance to Anne Margarette Tauli, an Executive Committee member and former secretary of the Regional White Area Committee of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) under the CPP, in a ceremony at the Baguio City Hall, Thursday.
Iringan said the P65,000 cash assistance from the DILG under the ECLIP, a government program to encourage members of the communist groups to have a new life with their families, comprised of P15,000.000 immediate assistance and P50,000.00 livelihood assistance.
Aside from the financial assistance, the National Housing Authority also awarded housing assistance to Tauli.
NHA official Chris Paul Mongalini said that the housing assistance has three options which include a house and lot package or a cash assistance of PHP450, 000.00 for the construction of a house if she has a lot or cash to help in the titling of a lot. A third option is cash assistance for housing repair or renovation worth PHP100, 000.00.
“The ECLIP is being implemented by the national government in order to motivate and inspire our brothers to come back to the folds of the law,” Iringan said.
Other government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Dept. of Trade and Industry, Dept. of Labor and Employment, Dept. of Social Welfare and Development and Dept. of Justice also provide livelihood assistance to those who are qualified under the ECLIP.
Tauli accepted the government assistance and assured that it will be used for projects in her hometown of Besao.
“I am accepting this assistance since this is also from the people and will be giving back to the people thru our projects in Besao where we started before the COVID-19 some projected for progress and peace in our town,” Tauli said.
She also thanked the “generals” - National Security Adviser Sec. Hermogenes Esperon, Mayor Magalong, General Pagkalinawan and General Doyaoen - for facilitating and assisting her get thru the “grueling process” which ended up in this assistance from the government.
Magalong thanked Tauli for her courage in making the choice of returning back to the fold of the law.
“Thank you for making a choice. I fully understand the sentiments and stand that there will come a time that you will really have to make a choice - that is support a legitimate government and advocate for peace,” said Magalong.
The Mayor also urged Tauli to help in getting in touch with other members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and to convince them that they can also make a choice to start a dialogue and return back to the fold of the law. “Iisa lang po ang direksyon natin para magkaroon ng kapayapaan,” he said.
It can be remembered that on June 11, Sec. Esperon Jr, also the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Vice Chairman. together with Cordillera leaders presented Tauli after voluntarily presenting herself to authorities in Besao. (JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis