From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 9): Avail of Duterte offer, Aying urges Negros' NPA groups
A package of benefits being offered by President Rodrigo Dutertefor New People's Army groups or individuals in Negros Island who give up their armed struggle and return to the folds of the law, which includes free housing in resettlement villages and livelihood opportunities, is now available.
This was announced by Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, Army 3ID commander, at a press conference held at the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City yesterday.
Aying said the president is calling on NPA members or groups composed of entire platoons or front organizations to surrender and they will be provided with resettlement areas or villages, free house and lots with livelihood trainings for skills development.
The president said this will empower the former rebels to live normal lives, Ayingadded.
The president also said the firearms of the returning rebels will not be confiscated, they will be allowed to keep them for community protection and self-defense, Aying said. The firearms will only be profiled or accounted for, he added.
The rebel returnees at resettlement areas will also be provided with community security forces from the governmentto protect them from possible retaliation from their former comrades, Aying said.
Individual rebels will be provided assistance of P65,000 each under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program, free house and lots in resettlement villages, and an additional P50,000 for each high powered rifle that they bring with them, he added.
The president announced the package of benefits in a meeting with law enforcement officers in Dumaguete City on July 27, after he visited the wake of policemen slain in an NPA ambush in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental, Aying said.
The Negros Occidental provincial government is also offering an additional P100,000 to each rebel returnee, plus another P300,000, depending on the caliber of the firearms they bring with them, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said.
Aying also said a reward of P100,000 will also be given to whoever can give information that will result in the surrender, imprisonment and the killing of an NPA rebel, Mindanao-based ISIS extremists and local terrorists, private armed groups and other groups with high powered and illegal firearms.
Aying said the NPA Negros currently has about 200 armed rebels who are kept as a maintaining force to justify the continued existence of the rebel movement.
Since 2010, the NPA rebels in Negros have killed more than 100 persons, most of whom were defenseless and innocent persons, he said.
The latest of which was the killing of six policemen in an ambush in Guihulngan on July 21; and the liquidation of planter Norberto Lumayno and his driver,Danilo Braga, in Calatrava, Negros Occidental on June 22, retired Staff Sergeant Ronnie Montejo in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental on June 20, and civilian Eliodoro Alvarado in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on May 26, Aying added.
He said the NPA members today are nolonger theidealistic revolutionary fighters of the past, they are bandits, terrorists, thieves and extortionists.
In the last 50 years, the NPA rebels have remained blind and deaf to the changes government has brought to the lives of people for the better, he said.
Aying said those interested to avail of the offer of government to the rebel forces may call 0935-852-5490or0999-109-2829.
Col. EliezerLosañes, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the people should unite and make a stand against the NPA to hasten the end of their existence.
Senior Supt. Rodolfo Castil Jr., Negros Occidental police director, said that after the Guihulngan ambush, the people have been more active in reporting the presence of rebel forces in their areas, which they validate.
Aying said people should peacefully reject the NPA when they go to their barangays, refuse to give them food and pay taxes to them, and to report the presence of rebels.