MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called on the members of New People’s Army to leave the communist movement, surrender and avail of the housing and livelihood program of the government.
Duterte made the call on Thursday when he visited the wake of six policemen who were ambushed and killed by the NPAs in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.
“Dito kayo mga NPA, just surrender to your barangay captain. Your barangay captain will accompany you to any of the police, military. Bigyan ko kayo ng trabaho,” Duterte said.
He added qualified rebels can also join the armed forces by undergoing trainings.
“Ako automatic, I will — gawain kitang sundalo. Mag-training kayo ulit dito sa utak tapos in about six months kung ano, matapos ’yung klase na — automatic kayo,” he said.
The President said he will also provide them with land, housing and job.
He emphasized that they can keep to themselves their guns if they surrender as he is not interested with it.
“Kaya ‘yung baril, i-surrender mo, taguin mo lang ‘yan. Inyo na ‘yan, hindi ako interesado diyan.”
Duterte also asked Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison to come home and lead the fight ofthe movement.
“If you are truly a revolutionary leader, my God, come home and fight here.”
He also dubbed Sison as coward whose daily needs are being financially supported and sustained by other country, referring to The Netherlands.
“All these years, nandoon ka sa ibang lugar, nagpapagasto ka ng ibang gobyerno, pinapakain ka, anak ng. Tapos ‘yung mga tao mo dito, kawawang mga NPA, nangamatay na lang … Duwag.”
Duterte though admitted he used to be a friend of the commumist rebels and their leaders but has already lost such luxury.
“Magkaibigan kami noon ng mga NPAs kaya lang the reverse is there because noon pwede akong maglaro, pulitika eh mayor eh. Pero ngayon I do not have that luxury anymore. Kaya mainit ‘yung away namin.”
Strengthen AFP, PNP
Duterte also told reporters in Guihulngan on Thursday he will strengthen the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police not only in terms of their armament and equipment but also in number.
He said the measure will prepare the country, especially its armed forces, as the rebels and their leaders niw indicate they want to continue the fighting for the next 50 years.
“At tsaka, I will raise the number of soldiers, mobilizing about 20, (battalions) and 10 battalions of SAF (Special Action Firce). Sige, fight tayo. Another 50 years. ‘Yan kaya ang gusto ninyo. They want to destroy this country? Go ahead. Walang problema.”
Duterte had previously indicated his intention to strengthen the country’s armed forces.
“The government will start to call for a mobilization. I want the Army added by about 20,000 fighting men. I have lost a considerable number of my soldiers in Marawi. Then I will add about another 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers. But I want them SAF” the President told reporters in an interview after his second State of the Nation Address on Monday.
He said he would need about 35,000 to 40,000 (number if armed forces) to meet the future threats coming from within and outside the country.
“We must have a strong Republic to withstand all threats and challenges. Today’s reality demands, necessitates, an Armed Forces that is strong.”
He added he will also accept the two high-altitude planes that that can be utilized by the armed forces and the SAF of the PNP.
The planes, he added, is being offered to him by a country that he did not specify.
The Philippines on Thursday, July 27 received two brand new Cessna C-208B surveillance planes from the US.
The new military planes are worth P1.67 billion or $33 million. (davaotoday.com)