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Duterte hosts Malacañang dinner for 187 rebel returnees

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday hosted a dinner for 187 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP),  at Malacañang Palace.

Speaking to rebel returnees, Duterte said the communist insurgents have been fighting the government for 50 years, and this has brought nothing but misery to the people.

He said the talks with communist rebels stalled because of the demand of Jose Ma. Sison, CPP founding chairman, for a coalition government.

The President described Sison’s demand as unacceptable, adding that one must win the elections to assume power.

He said he would allow female rebel returnees to travel Hong Kong at government expense to see the achievements of capitalist societies, contrary to the promises of the NPA.

As the government starts its massive infrastructure program, more skilled workers are needed, he said. In Davao city alone, three companies are in need of skilled workers for their operations.

According to Duterte, rebel returnees should acquire training and new skills to be able to join the workforce, and provide education for their children to have better lives.

He also promised financial assistance, education, training, and integration to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for all rebel returnees. #