President Rodrigo R. Duterte appealed anew to the remaining members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender and lead normal lives, stressing that the communist ideology they were supposed to be fighting for is no longer relevant.
In his speech on Thursday during the distribution of land titles here to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), the President said many countries have already turned their back on communism and embraced a different path.
“There are no communist countries anymore. But the Philippines is letting itself be deceived,” he said.
Duterte cited the case of China, a former communist country that inspired the decades-old communist rebellion in the country.
He said China, whose rapid progress and development these past years mirror that of the Hong Kong special administrative region, is no longer considered a communist country.
The President said it has become a controlled capitalist, with a “market-driven, controlled economy.”
“I just don’t understand you communists. You have been fighting for a long time, 53 years in the making, yet you still haven’t successfully occupied a single barangay,” he said.
He reiterated that the government is always committed and ready to help NPA rebels who would surrender and lay down their firearms
The government will provide surrenderers with jobs and houses, as well as sustainable livelihood, he said.
He said former rebels may learn new skills through training courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
“To the NPAs, surrender. You will no longer be hungry and your children will be able to go to school. I will pay for it and I will even feed you,” he said. “I would pay you if you surrender your gun. Surrender it.”
Duterte vowed that the communist rebellion, which “has taken a toll of almost three generations,” is about to end.
He said the NPA is already decimated and “you don’t have guns, you don’t have bullets, you don’t even have food.”
“Our dialogue is about to end. Whether you agree to it or not, you NPAs, the communists, you are about to end,” he said. (PNA)
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