President Rodrigo Duterte has promised 700 rebel returnees, mostly from the New People’s Army, that he will give them protection and aid as they reintegrate themselves back to mainstream society.
On Thursday, Duterte witnessed the oath of allegiance of 700 former rebels and supporters in Panacan, Davao City.
“Obligado pud ko nga tagaan tamo ug proteksyon, pareho pud sa akong mga sundalo nga ako pud kupkupon kay ila man nang trabaho,” he said.
“Kamong nangurender, mupusta pud ko sa akong kinabuhi para ninyo. Muprotektar pud ko. Tabangan tamo pagtindog… Dili tamo gutumon,” he added.
[I am obliged to give you protection, the same way I look after my soldiers because it’s their job, too. You who surrendered, I will also gamble my life for you. I will also protect you. I will help you stand up… I won’t starve you.]
Duterte also warned the NPA not to go after their former comrades.
“Kanang naminaw ninyo na NPA, ayaw na ninyo buhata na, na inyong dumtan ning nag-surrender,” he said.
[Those NPA members who are listening, don’t do it, don’t hold a grudge against those who surrendered to the government.]
Duterte said only qualified former rebels could join the police force or the military anyway.
“Trabaho na eh. Kamong mga NPA, kung inyo ning hilabtan—ahhh… Kung unsay buhaton nimo nila, mao pud akong buhaton nimo. Ana mana. Daog-daog na eh,” he added.
[That’s work. You NPA members, if you hurt them—ahhh… Whatever you will do to them, I will also do to you. That’s how it is. That’s oppression.]
Fifty-nine (59) former members of the Underground Mass Organization (Ugmo) of the communist New People’s Army have decided to give their support to the government.
“The Ugmos are victims of the lies and deception of the communist terrorists who continue to organize and extort the masses in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (Gidas). Your army, together with other line agencies, will bridge the gap and help the government deliver its basic services and establish peaceful and conflict-resilient communities,”
BGen Reuben Basiao
Commander, 701st Brigade
MAGSAYSAY, Davao del Sur- On January 11, 2018, around 11:30 pm, a firefight between combined elements of the Army’s 73RD and 72nd Infantry Battalion against NPA terrorists led to the recovery of 6 M16 rifles, 2 AK47 rifles, 1 M14 rifle, 1 IED, assorted ammunitions and magazines, and 2 Honda TMX motorcycles in Barangay Tacul, Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur.
“This is a clear manifestation that the NPA is planning to conduct terroristic activities against government security forces and innocent civilians in the area
We are one with the community in despising conflict terrorism and extortion by the NPA terrorists”
Ltc Marion Angcao PA
Commander, 73rd Infantry Battalion
Being a soldier is more than courage it’s sacrificing yourself for something greater than yourself.