Duterte com­mit­ted to re­solv­ing in­sur­gency prob­lem peace­fully

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

MANILA -- Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte's lat­est call for New Peo­ple's Army (NPA) fighters to lay down their arms and live nor­mal lives shows his de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­solve the coun­try's long-run­ning in­sur­gency peace­fully, Depart­ment of Na­tional De­fense (DND) Sec­re­tary Delfin Loren­zana said Fri­day.

"The Pres­i­dent’s lat­est call for the NPA fighters to lay down their arms, re­turn to so­ci­ety, and live nor­mal lives only shows that he is giv­ing the NPA ev­ery chance at achiev­ing a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to the long­stand­ing armed con­flict," Loren­zana said in a state­ment.

Duterte pledged to give homes and liveli­hoods to ev­ery rebel will­ing to sur­ren­der and rein­te­grate him­self into so­ci­ety.

"He has of­fered homes and liveli­hood to ev­ery NPA fighter that re­turns to the fold of the law. Buong pu­song binibi­gyan ng Pan­gulo ang mga NPA ng pagkakataon na mag­bago at mabuhay nang maran­gal. His of­fer to ac­com­mo­date mem­bers of the com­mu­nist move­ment shows his sin­cer­ity," Loren­zana added.

The de­fense chief said they are de­lighted to note that a num­ber of NPAs have ac­cepted the of­fer and are now start­ing to live nor­mal lives.

"We re­it­er­ate our call for the NPA to stop all their il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties, re­turn to the fold of the law, and be part of the real change that the Pres­i­dent has spear­headed for the bet­ter­ment of our coun­try and the lives of our peo­ple," Loren­zana said.

As of Oct. 19, con­tin­u­ous mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions have also led to the neu­tral­iza­tion of 609 NPA rebels. Of this num­ber, 121 were killed in op­er­a­tions, 71 were ar­rested, while 417 sur­ren­dered. A to­tal of 331 high- and low­pow­ered firearms were ei­ther sur­ren­dered or re­cov­ered from the rebels.

The mil­i­tary has recorded 242 in­ci­dents of NPA atroc­i­ties since the scrap­ping of peace talks in Fe­bru­ary. It said that com­mu­nist rebels had per­pe­trated 20 vi­o­lent ac­tiv­i­ties in Jan­uary alone. (PNA)

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