By Aaron Recuenco
As early as now, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will push for the surrender of as many New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as it awaits President Duterte’s decision on whether or not to proceed with the military-proposed special task force that will end the communist insurgency by mid-2019.
Director-General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, said he has long heard of the proposal of a task force against communist insurgency and stressed that the PNP is supportive of such a move.
Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
But he was quick to clarify that the PNP contribution would be more on the side of intelligence-gathering; identifying communist rebels; and convincing them to surrender.
“This is in support of the localized peace talks because we no longer have peace talks (with the communist rebels),” said Albayalde.
The 4,000-strong NPA has been waging more than four decades of armed struggle against the government. Attempts to seal a peace deal by various administrations have failed.
It can be recalled that the President had cancelled peace negotiations with the communist rebels over continuous attacks on policemen and soldiers in the countryside.
Just recently, at least three detachments of the police were attacked by communist rebels in Masbate.
Albayalde said that, as far as he knows, the special task force being proposed by his military counterpart, General Carlito Galvez, will be involving as many concerned government agencies as possible.
“On our part (PNP), it’s more on law enforcement, intelligence, investigation and police-communist relations. But this is more on community relations activity to convince insurgents to surrender peacefully,” said Albayalde.