Duterte calls on task force vs insurgency to ‘work doubly hard’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the government task force on communism to “work doubly hard” to end the decades-long insurgency in the Philippines.
“I hope that today’s event will continue to encourage the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the Task Force Balik-Loob, and their local counterparts to work doubly hard in addressing the problems of insurgency so that our people can enjoy safer and more secure [communities],” Duterte said during the ceremonial awarding of housing units to former rebels in Tagum City on Tuesday.
Aside from ending the drug trade in the country, the then Davao City mayor promised to end the armed rebellion in the country.
The government has initiated peace talks with the communist rebels but several negotiations have failed to reach a conclusion.
The peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) collapsed in November 2017 after the President signed Proclamation No. 360, formally terminating the negotiation with the Maoist insurgents.
The cessation of talks came after armed rebels launched a series of attacks against government troops.
Aside from a ceasefire, Duterte also demanded communist guerillas to stop their collection of revolutionary taxes for the resumption of peace negotiations.
In his speech Tuesday, Duterte urged the rebel returnees to “maximize” their chance to return to the society.
“I also enjoin the former rebels who are here with us today to maximize the opportunity to return into the mainstream of society by being responsible, productive, peaceful and law-abiding citizens,” he said.
“In the spirit of peace and solidarity, I look forward to having you as partners in creating a better and brighter future for all Filipinos. Together, let us build a more prosperous, inclusive and equitable Philippines,” he added.
Duterte has previously lured rebels to surrender to the government with promises of housing units and jobs. /kga
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