‘WE ARE HERE FOR THEM.’ Police Major General Rhodel Sermonia assures former rebels that they can continue to avail of the programs and services that the Philippine National Police provides to Filipinos under their “Barangayanihan” program.
Police Major General Rhodel Sermonia, Chief of the Directorate for Police Community Relations, proudly shared the different programs of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in support of the country’s fight against insurgency and terrorism in his recent appearance in “Balik-Loob sa Pagbabago,” a Task Force Balik-Loob (TFBL) radio-television show that presents the government’s efforts in ending the local communist armed conflict.
According to PMGen Sermonia, PNP’s “Barangayanihan” program is composed of different services for the Filipino people in partnership with a number of local and international agencies, groups and individuals. They also work towards strengthening and enhancing their capabilities in protecting the people. On the other hand, the partnerships the PNP forged with advocacy support groups allow them to have force multipliers in sustaining peace and order in communities.
PMGen Sermonia emphasized that all the services and projects they provide are open to former rebels (FRs), saying that they “do not discriminate them nor do we just give services to select individuals or groups.”
“We give assistance to former rebels through the livelihood development program of the government to end local communist armed conflict which includes healthcare, scholarship grants and housing, among others, especially those who are in geographically isolated areas,” he said, adding that the PNP will continue to accommodate the FRs even after the term of President Rodrigo Duterte has ended.
The PNP is one of the many agencies that form the TFBL in providing services to the former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and former violent extremists (FVEs), who had decided to return to the fold of the law. They are being assisted in restarting their lives, enabling them to be reintegrated into mainstream society, and more importantly, reuniting with their families and relatives.
As reported to the TFBL Secretariat, the PNP has granted financial, food, shelter and security assistance to 996 FRs, including their families as of 30 July 2021. For 2021, 192 FRs have already been employed as non-uniformed personnel, while 963 were enlisted in the PNP’s uniformed force.
Together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the PNP is part of the committee that provides Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Clearance to the FVEs and members of the NPA after they surrender.