Sur­ren­der or face death, NPA rebels warned

Manila Times - - REGION - LE­AN­DER C. DOMINGO

GAMU, Is­abela: The new chief of the Philip­pine Army’s Fifth In­fantry Di­vi­sion ( 5ID) warned mem­bers of the New Peo­ple’s Army ( NPA) that they face a bloody year if they do not sur­ren­der to gov­ern­ment forces.

Brig. Gen. Per­fecto Ri­mando Jr., new­lyin­stalled com­mand­ing gen­eral of the Army’s 5ID based in Camp Mel­chor F. Dela Cruz here, said: “It is best that they come out in the open, sur­ren­der and ben­e­fit from the pro­grams and projects the gov­ern­ment has of­fered them and their fam­i­lies.”

He said the 5ID will dou­ble its of­fen­sives against the atroc­i­ties and in­ten­si­fied at­tacks staged by the NPA rebels and any el­e­ment that is try­ing to over­throw the gov­ern­ment and caus­ing dis­tur­bances in peace­ful com­mu­ni­ties in the Cordillera and Ca­gayan Val­ley regions.

He also warned the NPA rebels to stop sab­o­tag­ing gov­ern­ment projects and prop­er­ties par­tic­u­larly those in far- flung ar­eas that ham­pers de­vel­op­ment and im­prove­ment of the lives of the res­i­dents.

President Ro­drigo Duterte has tagged the NPA a ter­ror­ist group say­ing he was fed up with its re­cent ac­tions, in­clud­ing the al­leged killing of an in­fant.

Ac­cord­ing to Ri­mando, the NPA rebels would bet­ter to em­brace gov­ern­ment pro­grams and be of help in solv­ing once and for all the prob­lem of in­sur­gency in the coun­try.

For­merly as­signed as deputy com­mand­ing gen­eral of the Eastern Min­danao Com­mand in Davao City, the new 5ID chief re­placed Lt. Gen. Paul Atal, now the com­mand­ing gen­eral of the Cen­tral Com­mand in the Visayas.

Un­der the AFP’s North­ern Lu­zon Com­mand, the 5ID or Star Di­vi­sion, is the Army’s pri­mary in­fantry unit in North­ern Lu­zon spe­cial­iz­ing in counter- in­sur­gency with con­trolled in­fantry bat­tal­ions in the prov­inces of Ilo­cos Norte, Ilo­cos Sur, Kalinga, Apayao, Ifu­gao, Ca­gayan, Is­abela, Quirino and north­ern part of Nueva Viz­caya.

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