Rebels’ decommissioning proves that local peace talks work – DILG

Published September 23, 2019, 1:43 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Marjaleen Ramos

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said that the recent decommissioning of 727 former rebels is proof that local peace engagements work.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The DILG is pleased with the decommissioning of the RPMP-RPA-ABB-TPG (Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas – Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade – Tabara-Paduano Group). It is long overdue and it demonstrates that the government’s current approach of localized peace engagement is better than peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippine-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) panel which has brought us nowhere since the Cory Aquino administration,” Interior secretary Eduardo Año said.

“With this effort and the whole-of-nation-approach espoused by President Duterte, there is no doubt in my mind that we can finally rid ourselves of the communist insurgency that has been a burden to our economy and has cost the lives of many of our countrymen for the past 50 years,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the decommissioning of 727 members of the Kapatiran and the turnover of 337 firearms of the said group last September 19 at Camp General Macario Peralta, Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz.

He said that the government is prepared to provide full support to rebel returnees, including livelihood and housing assistance, to enable them to start a new life.

The former rebels are members of the Kapatiran from Negros, Aklan, Bukidnon, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Luzon, and Mindanao.

“I commend these 727 former rebels for choosing a peaceful and better life. Matagal nang nagtago sa bundok ang mga ito at nalamang walang mahihita sa giyera,” Duterte said.

Año encouraged other rebels in the mountains “who are still blinded by the twisted communist ideology” to surrender to authorities.

“Sa mga kasalukuyang miyembro ng CPP-NPA-NDF, hindi magsasara ang pinto ng pamahalaan para sa mga nagnanais ng tunay na kapayapaan. We will be welcoming you with open arms,” he said.