Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reiterated the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to lay down their arms and cooperate to the resolution of the “longstanding armed conflict” in the country.
“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.
Lorenzana said that the Department of National Defense fully supports the peace and security agenda of the President.
He encouraged communist rebels to accept the President’s offer to provide jobs, housing opportunities from National Housing Authority, livelihood, and financial assistance to NPA fighters who will surrender to the folds of the law.
“I’ll give you a job. Automatic, they will have their jobs. And I’ll give you a space, instead of giving to the soldiers,” Duterte said earlier.
He said that the President’s willingness to accommodate those members of the communist movement only shows the Chief executive’s sincerity to achieve perennial peace in the region.
“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 [The President is wholeheartedly giving NPA the opportunity to change and to live with honor.] His offer to accommodate members of the communist movement shows his sincerity,” he said.
The defense secretary said that there are several NPAs who accepted the offer.
“We are delighted to note that a number of NPAs have accepted the offer and are now restarting to live normal lives. Marami-rami na rin ang nagkusang loob na bumalik sa gobyerno [There are numbers of them who already returned to the government],” he added.