By Aaron Recuenco
President Duterte wants to end the Communist insurgency in less than the last three years of his term, which was the reason why he ordered government agencies to step up the implementation of strategies to finally resolve the problem on the New People’s Army (NPA) in the countryside.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said the President was particularly interested on the rising number of Communist rebels who surrendered to the government.
“The President does not want to pass the problem on Communist insurgency to the next administration,” said Banac.
“That is why he is very serious in making sure that all the strategies are properly implemented to end it. And we share this goal because imagine it is already five decades,” he added.
Banac said the President appears to be satisfied with the outcome of the aggressive campaign to end Communist insurgency, particularly in the aspect of localized peace talks.
The localized peace talks, he said, led to the surrender of thousands of Communist rebels since it was started when the peace talks bogged down anew under the Duterte administration.
Banac attributed the success to the cooperation of all government agencies.
“Unlike before, even local government units are now actively making their share to ensure the success of the localized peace talks,” said Banac.
The NPA has been waging armed struggle against the government for more than 50 years, one of the world’s oldest running insurgency problems.
Aside from convincing rebels to surrender, the government has recently stepped up the operation against members of organizations which it tagged to be having links with the communist rebels.
More than 50 members of militant groups were arrested in Negros Occidental and Metro Manila recently.