The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s fresh calls to New People’s Army (NPA) members to lay down their weapons and rejoin the mainstream society.
“The AFP joins the Commander-in-Chief (President Rodrigo Duterte) in calling out to the terrorist NPA to lay down their arms as most of them have done and to avail of the offer to have a new lease of a peaceful, productive, and joyful lives with their loved ones in a community of fellow Filipinos welcoming and embracing them back to its folds,” military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement sent to reporters.
The AFP spokesperson said the rebels should seriously consider this offer as their so-called “people’s revolution” is already a passé as more and more Filipinos, including the ones in their losing “army” of communists, have already realized the failure of their pretended ideology that has now turned into terrorism of the people and the exploitation of their own.
“Hundreds who have already surrendered, and those who are still in the mountains but have already sent surrender feelers, now say that they now came to realize that while they were being pushed to fight it out in the frontlines, the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines) leadership in Europe and in the cities luxuriate in the money they extort from business persons,” Arevalo added.
To provide for these surrenderers, the AFP spokesperson said the government has its Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) in full swing to ensure that former rebels (FRs) will have a wholistic package of benefits that they can avail of such as, but not limited to, health, education, livelihood assistance, and legal assistance.
“The AFP also helps provide to qualified E-CLIP enrollees protection from their former comrades who might want to deprive them (FRs) of this opportunity to be with their families and mainstream society again,” he added.
Arevalo added that now is the best time to surrender and avail of these benefits now enjoyed by hundreds of these FRs.
“The NPAs do not need the likes of Jose Maria Sison to broker for peaceful and meaningful lives for them. They can, as the AFP has been supporting, avail of localized peace talks. That is more responsive to their particular needs and situations. CPP leaders abroad are out of touch and have only their personal interests to protect in making ludicrous demands for the talks but do not perform their share to make peace work,” he added. (PNA)
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