DND chief asks NPA rebels to become gov’t soldiers
CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, Isabela — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday invited New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to surrender and join the military.
“The best way to win the peace is when it is done without firing a single shot,” Lorenzana said during a program celebrating the 36th founding anniversary of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division (5th ID) based here.
“The peace we win will only be sustainable if we reach into the hearts of our fellow countrymen and bring them back into the folds of the law,” he said.
He also urged Army soldiers to adapt to changes and overcome challenges “for the sake of the noble cause to achieve lasting peace.”
In light of the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines, Lorenzana said soldiers have been able to conduct operations against illegal drugs, illegal logging and other environment crimes.
“Through the efforts of the Star Division (the nickname of the 5th ID), the masses have stopped supporting the local communist movement and several insurgents have surrendered to the government and renounced their pledge to communism,” he said.
“Our challenge is not only to fight the insurgents,” said Maj. Gen Paul Atal, 5th ID commander.—VILLAMOR VISAYA JR.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.