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Duterte : NPA surrenderees increasing

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga — More members of the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to the government to avail themselves of housing and livelihood opportunities.

On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte praised the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and local government units for the increasing number of surrenderees.

“I’d like to congratulate the Armed Forces and everybody, including the mayors and the police (because) they are active in convincing people,” he said.

The President said he had reached out to Jose Maria Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), but to no avail. The CPP is the umbrella organization of all communist groups.

He said there was a stalemate in the peace talks with the communist rebels because Sison was pushing for a coalition government which the government rejected.

“So there is an impasse. I don’t know who would blink first, but it would not be the government,” he stressed.

The President said he was confident that the AFP would finally quash the communist insurgency soon.

“We are trying to go out and just embrace them as brothers. If they become decimated by the number of surrenderees, maybe the Armed Forces can finish them off by next year,” Duterte said.

“It’s a matter of how to talk to them sincerely and if they want to surrender, we will provide housing and give them money in the meantime during their transition,” he added.

As for livelihood, Durerte said rebel returnees would be trained by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), noting that the country is in need of more skilled workers.

He said some constructions in Manila, Davao, and Cebu, have temporarily stopped because of the absence of skilled workers.

At the same time, the President assured the people that he had remained committed to fighting corruption and ending abuses and misdeeds in the bureaucracy.#