CPP brushes off AFP chief’s call for amnesty
MANILA, Philippines — The Communist Party of the Philippines Friday firmly rejected the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief’s call for amnesty.
The Marxist–Leninist–Maoist revolutionary organization firmly believes its armed wing’s members will stay true to its cause and unwavering loyalty to the movement.
“The call for amnesty for members of the New People’s Army (NPA) is a sugar-coated bullet,” CPP spokesperson Marco Valbuena said in a statement.
On Thursday, AFP chief Gen. Andres Centino said he supports other approaches to eradicating the longest-standing communist insurgency in the world, such as providing amnesty to the NPA.
But Valbuena said the communist armed movement would reject Centino’s call.
“Centino’s amnesty proposal will be rejected by revolutionaries who are whole-heartedly committed to serving the oppressed and exploited masses,” he said.
“In the face of the Marcos regime’s heightened fascist repression and subservience to foreign economic and geopolitical interests, they are even more determined to arouse, organize and mobilize the people in their numbers to fight for the country’s sovereignty and people’s well-being,” he added.
The Task Force Balik Loob (TFBL), which oversees the implementation of the reintegration program for former rebels, said that since 2016, a total of 37,413 “former rebels” and “former violent extremists” have returned to the folds of the law.
Of the surrenderees, 10,637 have been presented with immediate livelihood, reintegration benefits, and firearms remuneration through the TFBL’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
Established on March 29, 1969, the NPA has 2,112 forces with 1,800 weapons in its arsenal, according to latest military estimates.
At its peak, it had 25,000 members in 1987, according to Philippine military estimates.