Duterte lauds AFP/PNP/LGU as more NPA rebels surrendering to government

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Roa Durerte lauded the joint efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the local government units for the increasing number of New People’s Army (NPA) returning to the mainstream society.

In his meeting with the local chief executives of Luzon,  Wednesday, March 7, Duterte  revealed “At no other time are the NPAs surrendering with their firearms. It is taboo to them here and in Mindanao, everywhere, na ‘pag nag-surrender ka tapos ibigay mo ‘yung armas mo sa sundalo o sa pulis, so talagang ha-huntingin ka because that is anathema, a taboo. Talagang yayariin ka,.”

“So mabuti’t na lang, marami na ang nag-surrender and… Also, I’d like to congratulate the Armed Forces and everybody, ‘yung mga mayors pati pulis, they are active in convincing people,” he said.

The Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom)  recently reported hundreds of rebels seeking help form their respective LGUs to facilitate their surrender.

On Monday, over a thousand rebel supporters surrendered in Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province.

Over a thousand rebel supporters surrendered in Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province,
Monday, March 6, 2018. Alfonso “Jun” Tabas Jr.

The President said he has reached out to NPA founding chairman Jose Maria Sison but in the end, there was a stalemate in the talks because Sison wanted a coalition government, which the government cannot give.

“So ‘yan ang sitwasyon doon. So there is an impasse. I don’t know who would blink first but definitely it would not be government,” Duterte said.

The President said that with more rebels surrendering to government, he hopes that the Armed Forces can quash the rebel group soon.

“We are trying to really go out and just embrace them as brothers and at no other time, maraming armas. If they become decimated by the number of surrenderees, maybe the Armed Forces can finish them off next year at mawala na ‘to,” Duterte said.

Duterte said rebel surrederees are given housing and livelihood opportunities.

“We are about to complete many — sa Davao City may 1,000 ako; in Tagum about mga 700 plus. Then Surigao and in Zamboanga. Dito naman sa Bulacan, meron rin ako marami nang natapos… Then I inaugurated the other day sa Marawi at iba pa and those are for the soldiers. But at the same time, mabilis din kaming gumagawa. But some businessmen who want to donate, gusto nila individual,” Duterte said.

“It’s a matter of ‘yung program of how to talk to them sincerely and if they want to surrender, meron silang bahay then we can give them money in the meantime may transition sila,” he added.

As for livelihood, Durerte said rebel returnees will be trained by TESDA, noting that the country is in need of more skilled workers.

“Mind you, there are constructions in Manila, Davao, Cebu, which have temporarily stopped because of the absence of skilled workers,” he said.

“So they would need some kind of a master carpentry, master plumber. ‘Yan ang gusto kong makiusap sa inyo. If you have that kind of program of pacification, let me know,” he added.

Duterte said his administration is walking extra miles to reach our for peace.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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