DILG: Decommissioning of 727 ex-rebels proves local peace talks work
MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday that the recent decommissioning of 727 former rebels proves the effectivity of local peace talks.
“The DILG is pleased with the decommissioning of the RPMP-RPA-ABB-TPG. It is long overdue and it demonstrates that the government’s current approach of localized peace engagement is better than peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippine-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) panel which has brought us nowhere since the Cory Aquino administration,” Año said in a statement.
He was referring to members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas – Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Boncayao Brigade – Tabara-Paduano Group, known as the Kapatiran, a breakaway faction of the New People’s Army (NPA).
President Rodrigo Duterte led the decommissioning of members of the Kapatiran in a ceremony at the 3rd Infantry Division Headquarters of the Philippine Army in Jamindan, Capiz last Friday, September 20.
“With this effort and the whole-of-nation-approach espoused by President Duterte, there is no doubt in my mind that we can finally rid ourselves of the communist insurgency that has been a burden to our economy and has cost the lives of many of our countrymen for the past 50 years,” said Año.
He said the government “does not have a chance with the so called ‘CPP-NPA-NDF’ peace panel who are only using the talks to reorganize and re-arm their forces and have no intent on coming to a political settlement with the government.”
“We will just focus our efforts on localized peace engagements,” the DILG chief said.
According to Año, the former rebels are members of the Kapatian from Negros, Aklan, Bukidnon, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Luzon, and Mindanao.
He then encouraged other NPA rebels to lay down their arms and surrender to the government.
He said packages of assistance will be ready for them, similar to what the 727 former rebels received from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development, PhilHealth, and National Housing Authority which handed over a start-up provision of shelter for the surrenderers.
“This is all part of the package bundle under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” he said. /je
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