Duterte to NPAs: Surrender and help the country

Published December 30, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Antonio Colina

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte renewed his call to members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender weeks after he expressed his interest to reopen peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the officers of the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines at the Malacañan Palace on September 10, 2019. (KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

In his speech during his visit to the earthquake-affected families at the M’lang National High School in the municipality of M’lang, Cotabato on Monday, Duterte said members of the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist movement,could make themselves “useful” if they surrender and contribute to the development of the country, particularly in the booming construction industry.

He said many of the skilled workers such as electricians, plumbers, and construction workers would want to work in the Middle East for higher salary, leaving the construction industry here with insufficient manpower to complete private and government projects.

“Kailangan ko kayong mga NPA. Hindi sa patayan, wala akong makuha kung patayin kita, may mas silbi kayo sa bayan kung magtulungan tayo (I need you NPA, not in the killing. I will get nothing if I kill you. You will be of use to the country if we help each other),” he said.

Duterte claimed several members of the NPA have surrendered since he assumed the presidency on June 30, 2016.

The President promised to provide them with house and lot, employment, and free education at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) when they decide to return to the fold of the law.

“Maraming nag susurrender, maraming talaga ang bumababa. Magsama na lang tayo, may pera ang gobyerno. Pagdating ninyo dito sa baba, pagawaan ko kayo ng mga condo, tapos mag aral kayo sa TESDA (Many have surrendered, many have come down. Let’s join together, the government has money. When you get here, I will build you condo, and then you study at TESDA),” he said.

The GRP cancelled the November 25 to 27, 2017 peace talks, with Proclamation 360 of President Rodrigo R. Duterte “for lack of sincerity” on the part of the communist. The President subsequently signed Proclamation 374, designating the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA as terrorist organizations.