Duterte to NPA rebels: I’ll make you soldiers if you surrender
DIGOS CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday urged New People’s Army rebels to surrender and help protect the country.
The President’s call might have betrayed his projection of how the peace talks with the rebels would go even if he had pursued it.
“I have a proposal to the NPA. Surrender, I will make you soldiers of this Republic, just Cafgu (Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit) for the moment,” he said.
Duterte said NPA rebels who would surrender would be given firearms.
“But I will give you a gun to protect the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.
Duterte said there will be no precondition for the surrender.
All rebels had to do was to go to a mayor or go directly to the military to yield.
He said aside from guns, surrendered rebels would also be given houses.
He said her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara, has a housing project in Tugbok district in Davao City.
“Inday has 1,000 units there. We will ask her to share,” he said.
But Duterte said he could not possibly put soldiers and rebels in a single housing area because “they might kill each other.”
“Military personnel will be put in Matina, the NPA (rebels) will be in Tugbok.”
Duterte hinted that he do not trust the NPA.
“When the Marawi crisis broke out, (Prof. Jose Ma.) Sison offered to help. He got offended because I turned him down,” he said.
Duterte said – albeit in jest – that if he allowed that, soldiers might get shot from behind.
Besides, he said that the problem in Marawi can be single-handedly handled by the military.
Duterte said the war was dragging because he had objected to the bombing of the mosques, not only for the safety of hostages – whom he said must be 70 or 300 – but also to avoid inciting anger from Muslims.
“You know, mosques are holy for Muslims,” he said.
He then said that targeting the mosques would not only anger Filipino Muslims but also Muslim countries that host Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
But he said that the Marawi crisis would soon come to an end./ac
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