Gov’t would rather house rebels, says solon | Inquirer News
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Gov’t would rather house rebels, says solon

By: - Reporter / @cynchdbINQ
/ 03:06 AM November 01, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay on Monday criticized the government’s decision to allot P31 million for housing and livelihood assistance to former communist hitmen, saying that this could cause demoralization among policemen.

Magsaysay, a critic of the Aquino administration, was referring to the government’s peace initiatives with the communist splinter group called the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB). The group, she said, was responsible for the liquidation of roughly 200 policemen in the 1990s.

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She reminded the government that military and police personnel were also casualties in clashes with communist rebels, yet the government seemed to have neglected them.

On Monday, presidential adviser on the peace process Teresita Deles announced the allocation as part of the Aquino administration’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program that helps improve the situation in conflict-torn barangays in the country.

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Under the government’s proposed project for the RPMP-RPA-ABB, all members of the breakaway group would have to provide profiles of each member so that they could be matched with jobs and livelihood they could get in the community.

According to Magsaysay, policemen had long been complaining of a lack of benefits compared to their counterparts in other countries.

She said the fund would send the wrong message to the government forces, especially at this time when the civilian leadership seems to be prioritizing those who were opposing or had been opposing the government rather than those who were protecting it.

“It would seem that the government’s concern is more for those who have caused losses to the state rather than those who are risking their lives for the safety of our people,” she said.

If the state wants to put an end to the clashes, it should at least ensure that the rebel group has also kept its end of the bargain, she said.

“Before they give the money, they should make sure that the beneficiaries had not committed any lawless acts in the years since their commitment to the government, and that those who are still active in their criminal activities will not be given a share of this fund,” Magsaysay said.

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TAGS: communist hitmen, Ding Deles, Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program, police demoralization, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay
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