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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesThursday, June 14, 2012
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Rebel returnees
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Five more rebel returnees received P55,000 each from the national government during rites at the Negros Oriental Capitol yesterday.

The returnees are Roel delos Santos, 25, of Calango, Zamboanguita; Rodrigo Batayo, Jr., 33, from Nagbinlod, Sta Catlaina; Jimmy Sharot, 38, from Milagrosa, Sta Catalina; Domingo Vincoy Jr., 31, of Mayabon in Siaton and Joseph Trumata, 25, of Mantiquil in Siaton.

Each received P5,000 in emergency assistance, and P50,000 as livelihood assistance.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process through the office of Gov. Roel Degamo presented the checks in the presence of members of the adhoc committee for rebel returnees headed by 302nd brigade commander Col Francisco Patrimonio and provincial social welfare office Alice Lagarde.

Degamo said total development will not be achieved without peace in the countryside.

He reiterated that his office is open to everybody, including rebels who want to return to the fold of the law and stressed that the army is not their enemy but the protector of the people from aggressors and assists the government in bringing basic services.

In his response, Batayo said the rebel returnees are happy that government made good its promise of helping them start a new life by welcoming them back and providing them with livelihood assistance.

All the five admitted having participated in a number of armed encounters with government forces in previous years, but were not sure if they had hit their targets.*JG

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