PINILI, Ilocos Norte, June 30 (PIA) - A total of 30 members of the Alyansa Dagiti Mannalon iti Ilocos Norte (AMIN), two members of the underground Pambansang Kilusang Magbubukid and a member of the Kabataang Makabayan took their allegiance to the government on June 24 at the covered court of Capangdanan in Pinili, Ilocos Norte.
Almost all of them are peasants from Gulpeng village in Pinili.
They took oath in the presence of local government unit (LGU) officials of Pinili; Police Colonel Christopher Abrahano, provincial director of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office; LTC Ulysis Laude, commanding general of the 24th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army; and other uniformed personnel.
"We vow to continue the efforts of the government and the armed personnel in providing basic services to them and the community members as well," Police Colonel Abrahano said in his message.
Meanwhile, Pinili Mayor Rommel Labasan said, "We give our full support and assurance to our constituents who renounced their leftist ideologies and membership to these organizations by providing them additional sources of livelihood aside from farming."
He added, "The LGU will realign funds in the amount of Php 500,000.00 for a livelihood project of their choice, which can be a multi-purpose cooperative, a mini grocery, animal dispersal or any project of their choice."
Previously as a councilor and vice mayor of the town, Labasan has also initiated livelihood programs and projects to help alleviate the plight of farmers and their families.
Among these are provision of loan schemes with a very minimal interest and animal dispersal for these farmers.
"We are in high hopes that as we turn to the government, our aim to improve our lives and our families will become a reality," Regino Cacuyong, a previous board member of AMIN, an organization under the Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP-EX), said in the vernacular.
An active member since 1983, Cacuyong said he was part of the many protest rallies and mobilizations initiated by the leftist organizations but now he vowed for a new and fresh start to be one with the government in encouraging other members to turn against these terrorist groups.
The LGU also distributed relief packs during the event to the surrenderees. (JCR/AMB/JDS/PIA Ilocos Norte)