President Rodrigo Duterte has renewed his call to communist insurgents to surrender and give up their weapons as their ideology has become useless.
In a pre-recorded Talk to the People aired Monday night, Duterte told members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA), to abandon their meaningless ideology because “their [leaders’] brains are no longer as good as before.”
“You have not been successful in all your ideological confrontations. Ang naiwan sa inyo magpatay ng tao lang. For what? Iyan lang (All you do is just kill people. What for? That’s all you can do),” Duterte said. “Sabi ko sa inyo, drop the gun, drop the armed struggle, wala talagang mangyari, sabi ko sa inyo (I am asking you to drop the gun, drop the armed struggle because you will gain nothing).”
Duterte also reassured them of a better life, once they reintegrate into mainstream society.
He reiterated that communist guerillas who will surrender to authorities will be granted free housing and financial assistance.
“Komunista (To the communist rebels), you want to live a normal life? Drop the guns. I’ll give you the house and I’ll give you the money to start,” Duterte said.
Duterte also warned that government troops will continue to run after communist rebels who will refuse to heed his call.
“What purpose are you trying to show to the world? That you are capable of killing people? That’s what you are showing to us and to the world,” he said.
In his sixth and final State of the Nation Address delivered on July 26, Duterte lauded the efforts of the government, through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), for addressing the root causes of communist insurgency.
Duterte also noted that over 17,000 former rebels, including the NPA members, have surrendered amid the government’s implementation of various peace and development programs in communities infiltrated by the communist groups.
He also expressed optimism that the communist movement “will continue to erode in the next few months” with the help of local government units.
The government is implementing the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) for NPA insurgents who will surrender to authorities.
Under E-CLIP, former rebels will get PHP15,000 worth of immediate assistance; PHP21,000 to defray the subsistence or meal cost; support to relocate and secure their family; and PHP50,000 livelihood assistance.
Former rebels will also receive other benefits like temporary shelter, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation enrolment, modified conditional cash transfer, and medical, legal, and livelihood assistance.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist group by the Philippines, the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. PNA.GOV.PH