“I am pleased to note that this peace-building program also has a social and economic reintegration component through which the government will provide support to enable returnees to become productive members of the society,“ the President said in his speech during ceremonies held at the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division headquarters at Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.
Duterte leads decommissioning of ex-NPA hitmen
Lalaine Jimenea, Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte led on Thursday the decommissioning of 727 former members of a hit squad of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“I am pleased to note that this peace-building program also has a social and economic reintegration component through which the government will provide support to enable returnees to become productive members of the society,“ the President said in his speech during ceremonies held at the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division headquarters at Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz.

Decommissioned were former members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group (RPMP-RPA-ABB-TPG), also known as Kapatiran. Most of them are from the Visayas.

The former rebels underwent profiling by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Also decommissioned were the former rebels‘ more than 300 firearms. Around 12,000 rounds of assorted ammunition and 145 pieces of military ordnance were also disposed.

“Be assured of the government’s full support for your reintegration into the mainstream society,“ the President said.

Protection

Duterte assured former rebels of their protection amid concerns raised by some Kapatiran members that their decision to return to the fold of the law could worsen their relationship with the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA.

“You are part of the government. Magkasama na tayo ngayon. Kung ipitin kayo ng mga komunista and if they really want trouble, I will give you new firearms,” the President said.

“We are now duty-bound to protect you and if you think that you are in danger... that you are almost killed, bibigyan ko kayo ng armas, kung gusto nyo tangke de giyera?” Duterte added.

The rebel returnees will undergo training for 45 days to qualify them as members of the community defense unit. They will also receive socio-economic assistance packages from the DSWD as part of the government‘s commitment under the clarificatory implementation document (CID) signed in July.

The release of remaining political offenders, transformation of former rebels into a civilian organization engaged in socioeconomic and political activities as well as community peace dividends are the other components of the CID.

Localized peace talks

“The decommissioning of hundreds of RPA-ABB members is a classic example that localized peace talks is better than centralized peace negotiations,” Capt. Cenon Pancito III, 3rd ID spokesman, said.

Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police chief, said the decommissioning has a great impact in the campaign against communist insurgency.

“That’s less of hundreds of enemies... Hundreds of firearms that could be used against us were also taken out,” Pamuspusan said.

The Kapatiran, which was established in 2013, is headed by Veronica Tabara. It is represented in Congress by Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano of the Abang Lingkod party-list. – With Jose Rodel Clapano

DECOMMISSIONING NEW PEOPLE’S ARMY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with